David Morad is a prep school kid with a penchant for robbing drug dealers.
The Cincinnati-area student pleaded guilty to robbery plots on Monday after being implicated in as many as five attempted or completed heists by authorities.
Just before graduating from The Seven Hills School—annual tuition, $23,000—Morad was arrested for attempting to rob a home that he thought belonged to a drug dealer. Morad is accused of hoping to steal $5,000 and five pounds of pot, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The child of two Cincinnati-area doctors, Morad apparently didn’t adhere to his parents’ oath of “first, do no harm”: The teen allegedly planned to torture inhabitants of the home until they spilled the details of the drug stash.
Authorities say Morad planned to hit up the home of a man he’d already robbed about a week before his first failed April 6 attempt. The next-level plan involved tying him up and torturing him to get more drugs and more money—as much as $5,000, police say.
In their initial encounter, Morad’s target didn’t give up anything but drugs, despite his demand for his phone and wallet. Morad now planned to chop off finger after finger, until the target disclosed his alleged stash of drugs and money.
Morad was turned away at the door by a woman the first time, but returned the next day to try again.
Morad had a semi-automatic handgun on him, along with masks, duct tape, zip ties, and surgical gloves. Cops also found a mixture of codeine, soda, and cough syrup, as well as an axe, in his car.
The teenager “conducted trial runs including locations to park, avenues of approach, contingency plans if something went wrong and plans for escape,” according to local news station WLWT.
Only the home didn’t belong to a drug dealer at all, but to WVXU radio anchor and reporter Ann Thompson.
Morad’s twin sister, Alexis, screwed up and gave him the wrong address. Cops picked him up less than a block away.
Alexis was picked up a few days later and charged for helping to wipe her brother’s iCloud.
“It was a bunch of 17- and 18-year-old kids sitting around talking and fantasizing,” David’s attorney told the Enquirer. “No one broke into the house. He had every opportunity to break into the house, if that's what he wanted to do.”
The prep schoolers were released home on bond with electronic monitoring bracelets while awaiting trial. Detective Charles Zopfi noted that these “are individuals who come from privilege” and “for them to do something like this or allegedly do something like this kind of shocking.”
The twins, whose former classmates are now freshmen in college, were both expelled from The Seven Hills School after their arrests. (Two more men have also been arrested in relation to the case.)
Morad was also an aspiring videographer, one who allegedly filmed himself snorting three lines of coke off a school computer. Other videos allegedly show him robbing dealers at gunpoint. Morad once called it his “industry.”
When they weren’t robbing drug dealers, David and Alexis participated in a Spanish exchange program through the school their junior year. Evidently a good student, David even earned a magna cum laude certificate (PDF) on the National Latin Exam before he set his sights on a life of crime.
At his sentencing hearing, the reporter who almost became a collateral victim testified that Morad planned to tie her kids up and torture them until she told him were the drugs were stashed.
“I feel lucky to be alive,” Thompson said.
A privileged plea deal means Alexis will be sentenced to probation in November, and the would-be torturer will be back on his suburban streets in fewer than seven years, over the protests of detectives.
“To put him back on the streets in six years, eight months—albeit under intense supervised probation—is to let somebody who is a dangerous individual back out in society,” Zopfi warned in court.