Broward County

Already accused of killing a man he didn’t know, now accused also of murdering someone with whom he lives.

Jonathan Schuler’s now accused of two murders, one in Broward County and one in Palm Beach County.
Jonathan Schuler’s now accused of two murders, one in Broward County and one in Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County man accused of a crowbar killing at a Deerfield Beach construction site -- and diving down a trash chute to flee the scene -- has been charged with a second murder.

According to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, first degree murder arrest warrant has been signed for Jonathan Schuler, accused of fatally shooting Junior Petit-Bien before 7:30 a.m. Feb. 3 in the Lantana home they shared with other roomates. A Palm Beach Post report says Bien had just moved into the home in the 7200 block of Willow Spring Circle. The Post tabs it as the first homicide south of Hypoluxo Road since a Post database began keeping track in 2009.

The PBSO says Palm Beach will get in line behind Broward for Schuler though the Petit-Bien murder happened a month before the Mar. 8 death of Lake Worth’s Arcenio Alvarez. Schuler’s There’s no indication Schuler, a day laborer at the construction site, knew Alvarez before the day their paths fatally crossed.

Seven of Alvarez’s construction co-workers told Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives that Schuler, unprovoked, smashed Alvarez upside the back of the head with a crowbar then kept swinging away at the prone Alvarez. Upon finishing, Schuler allegedly dived head first down a trash chute to the bottom floor, but was chased down by Alvarez’s co-workers.

The arrest report notes the wounds on Alvarez’s body back up the witnesses’ description of at least the violence. As for the provocation, Schuler, after being told witnesses saw him kill Alvarez, shifted from denying any association with the death to claiming self-defense. He’s charged with premeditated murder.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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