Dallas Works to Release Records in Unsolved Tobolowsky Murder

The city of Dallas and Dallas County appealed an order to release records

The Interim Dallas City Attorney released a statement Thursday saying the city is working with the family of murdered lawyer Ira Tobolowsky to come into compliance with a December court order to release police investigation records in the case.

City and county officials initially appealed the order to turn over records from police and the Dallas County Medical Examiner about the unsolved case.

The 68-year-old lawyer was killed in what was ruled an arson fire in the garage of his home on May 13, 2016.

The order to surrender records to the Tobolowsky family was signed by State District Judge Ken Molberg on December 30, 2018.

A lawsuit filed by Tobolowsky's son, Michael Tobolowsky, said the family wanted the information to complete their own investigation and pursue a possible wrongful death lawsuit in the case.

Attorney Bob Hinton has practiced before Molberg.

"He's a fine judge. He knows what he's doing. He's not going to do something that's irresponsible. That's a very good order that should be followed," Hinton said.

Hinton was friends with Tobolowsky since high school. He followed the murder investigation and all the evidence from the beginning.

"Cell phone records, all kinds of things and it just went cold. I spoke to the detectives many times. And it appeared to me that they thought they were on a pretty hot case," he said.

Tobolowsky had many friends at the Dallas County Courthouse, but also enemies. Persons of interest were identified in the investigation who were involved in legal tangles with the attorney.

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The city of Dallas claimed in court records that police have a law enforcement privilege to withhold information about an ongoing investigation. In his ruling, Molberg said the city failed to establish that privilege.

"This is a cold case and they're not doing anything about it," Hinton said. "All they're doing, it appears to me, is trying to mask their incompetence. The fact that they can't go anywhere, haven't gotten anywhere in this case is absurd. It just adds more pain to the Tobolowsky's family."

Attorney Michael Tobolowsky took over his father's legal practice. He did not return messages about the case.

Dallas County officials did not return messages about the case.

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