NEW: Club employee charged in death of FSU star Travis Rudolph’s father


A business partner in a suburban West Palm Beach strip club where a handyman was fatally shot Friday night has been charged with manslaughter.

Palm Beach County sheriff’s detectives Tuesday afternoon charged Paul Senat, 36, of Lantana in the death of Darryl Rudolph. He was booked into the county jail on Tuesday afternoon and might appear before a judge on the charges Wednesday.

The arrest came as Rudolph’s son, Travis, a former Cardinal Newman High School and Florida State University football standout, anticipated his selection this week in the National Football League draft.

Authorities say Rudolph, 55, was shot about 9:30 p.m. Friday. He was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died Saturday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said.

David Fiore, the owner of Sugar Daddy’s Adult Cabaret, told The Palm Beach Post Tuesday that Senat owned a small piece of the club, on South Military Trail between Southern and Summit boulevards. Asked to comment on Senat’s arrest, Fiore would say only that authorities were “doing whatever they’ve got to do, based on whatever they think.”

Fiore said he did not recall why Senat was at the club Friday.

A telephone number listed for Senat was answered Tuesday afternoon by a woman who hung up on a reporter seeking comment.

According to Fiore and authorities, the fatal shot went through a wall from an adjacent liquor-storage room and struck Rudolph in either the neck or the back as he changed a filter to an air-conditioning unit in Fiore’s office.

A source said the rifle was reported to be the property of the business and was kept on a shelf in the liquor storage room. Senat told authorities he kept the rifle for personal protection. He said he took it from the shelf — he did not say why — and claimed he did not realize at first that it had fired. He said he went to the adjacent room and found Rudolph on the floor.

Fiore said earlier Tuesday, before Senat’s arrest, that he was in the office talking to a colleague with dancers milling about when, All of a sudden, a loud sound rang out. Then I looked over and I seen Darryl was down. I instructed people to call 911 and started doing CPR. It was — it was just bad.”

Palm Beach County Jail records show Senat was arrested six times between 1997 and 2007, all on misdemeanor or traffic charges. Palm Beach County Court records also show three eviction filings, three foreclosures and one civil domestic violence case.

Darryl Rudolph wasn’t a full-time employee of the club, but Fiore said he hired Rudolph regularly for handyman jobs and that he was doing work there before Fiore bought the place about two years ago.

“He’s probably one of the best guys that ever walked through the doors of that building,” Fiore said. “I was speechless because he was a buddy of mine, too. It was just something you don’t want to go through.”

He added, “The guy always had a smile.”

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation said Tuesday its division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco is working with the sheriff’s office but it would not elaborate.

The Rudolph family did not return calls either Monday or Tuesday, and funeral details haven’t been made available.

Travis Rudolph’s sports agents confirmed to The Post on Monday that they sent NFL teams an email saying that, despite the tragedy, Rudolph remained intent on pursuing his pro football aspirations. Draft analysts project Rudolph to be picked near the end of the draft.

The West Palm Beach native drew national praise this past summer when, as he and his Seminole teammates visited a Tallahassee middle school, he spotted an autistic student who was eating alone, and sat down and dined with the boy.

Another football standout, Greg Bryant, a former player at American Heritage High School, spent his final hours alive at Sugar Daddy’s nearly a year ago. The 21-year-old was fatally shot May 7 on Interstate 95 as he drove home to Delray Beach after a night watching musician friends perform. No one has been arrested in his slaying.



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