Second man in June Palm Beach Gardens murder held without bail

Updated Aug 05, 2014

Andrew Hoffman told Palm Beach Gardens police he helped put his friend’s unconscious body in the trunk of her car to take her to the hospital June 5.

He said he thought 35-year-old Margeaux Greenwald had overdosed and the next thing he knew, he was riding with Herbert Savell to a wooded area in Palm Beach Gardens, where he sat in the passenger seat of the car as Savell lifted Greenwald out of the trunk. He told police he never heard or saw anything.

DNA evidence proved otherwise.

Greenwald’s body was discovered June 7 and police said she died from blunt force trauma.

Hoffman, 28, faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm and kidnapping. Judge Joseph Marx ordered he be held without bail at the Palm Beach County jail Tuesday morning. Police say they were unable to arrest Hoffman sooner because they did not have enough evidence until the blood spatter and DNA analysis were complete.

Savell was charged in June after he led police to the body and confessed to the crime.

On June 5, police say Greenwald was with Hoffman and Savell, 26, in a residence they were sharing in Boynton Beach. At some point, she passed out and the two men decided to bind her hands and feet with belts and neckties, put her in a trash bag, cover her with a rain poncho and throw her in the trunk of her own car and drive off, according to the police report.

Both men told police they thought Greenwald overdosed. When they heard banging from the trunk, Savell stopped the car, bought a baseball bat and drove until they came upon a wooded area along Kyoto Drive, just west of RCA Center Drive and north of PGA Boulevard, near the Downtown at the Gardens mall. By the end of the night, Greenwald’s beaten, lifeless body was hidden in a large concrete pipe.

Though the police report does not explicitly say who struck Greenwald with the fatal blows from the bat, Savell’s statement and DNA offered clues. Savell told police Hoffman was the one who told him to drive off into a wooded area June 5. He said once they took her out of the trunk, Hoffman beat her until they were sure she was dead.

Hoffman denied witnessing anything, claiming he sat in the front seat of Greenwald’s vehicle while Savell moved around outside the car that night in the wooded area.

Once police recovered the black, 2005 Chrysler 300, they found the bloody bat wrapped in the trash bag and the rain poncho as well as a pair of white basketball shorts and a size 11 shoes. Police say DNA from the inside of the shorts matched Hoffman and blood spatter found on the outside of the shorts matched Greenwald. A forensics expert told police whoever was wearing the shorts “was in close proximity” to Greenwald during the murder.

After the two left the crime scene, Hoffman pawned off a ring that belonged to Greenwald and tried to sell her car, according to the police report. The man who works at the pawn shop told police he asked Hoffman what Greenwald would think of this.

Hoffman told him not to worry about it.

Police arrested Hoffman in Fort Lauderdale on Monday.