I-95 suspect threatened to kill grandmother with butcher knife

Feb 08, 2018
Police surround the black SUV behind the red crime scene tape after a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot Hugo Steven Selva following a series of wrecks on northbound I-95 north of Lantana Road on Wednesday morning. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

While details of Hugo Steven Selva’s life remain fuzzy, a court document filed by his grandmother a little over a year ago depicts a young man with a penchant for violence and intimidation.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Selva, 22, shot and killed his girlfriend, Nicole Novak, outside a Lake Worth convenience store on Wednesday. Selva, who police say also appears to be connected to shootings in West Palm Beach on Tuesday afternoon and in Boynton Beach early Wednesday, was later shot and killed by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy after he drove the wrong way on Interstate 95 and crashed three times.

PHOTOS: Shooting in Lantana and I-95 crash cause chaos in Palm Beach County

But it was a chilling statement by his grandmother in 2016 that shines some light into Selva’s mindset.

Marilyn Selva said her grandson “has threatened to kill me and (Selva’s sister) on multiple occasions,” according to a restraining order that was requested from a Palm Beach County court in December 2016. She was granted the order that same month.

In January 2016, Selva allegedly armed himself with a butcher knife and threatened to kill his grandmother, his sister and then himself, according to the petition. Selva’s sister convinced her brother to put down the knife.

Marilyn Selva said Hugo Selva took her phone several times in order to monitor her communication. Delray Beach police were alerted to the threats after a friend drove Marilyn Selva to the police station.

She said her grandson and Novak came to her Delray Beach home “usually when I’m alone and they threaten me.”

Hugo Selva’s abuse wasn’t limited to death threats, according to the petition. Selva allegedly took his grandmother’s Social Security number and other personal information without her consent and applied for an online loan. At least once, Selva pressured his grandmother to go to the bank with him and withdraw money, the complaint said.

“I am in fear for my life as I am 77 years old and have health issues,” wrote Marilyn Selva, adding she has Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis. “Hugo’s behavior and threats are escalating. He has become more demanding and forceful.”

Marilyn Selva says in the petition that her grandson has alcohol and drug problems and that Novak is “on parole for drug trafficking.” Records obtained by the Post show Novak spent more than two years in state prison on drugs and burglary convictions.

Marilyn Selva ends her comments on the petition saying that Hugo Selva and Novak “are draining me physically, emotionally and financially.”

“He gets up close to my face and shouts at me, calls me Satan (expletive),” she wrote.

In February 2017, Marilyn Selva asked that the restraining order be terminated because Hugo Selva had moved out of the area “and has not contacted me since December 2016, and has promised not to contact me or return to my home.”

A woman who picked up the phone Thursday at Marilyn Selva’s home asked that the elderly woman not be bothered.

“She has nothing to do with this,” the woman said before hanging up.