Fired Stockbroker Charged in Killing

Wednesday, November 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Police were searching Wednesday for a fired stockbroker accused of returning to the office and killing the manager who dismissed him.

Joseph Ludlam, 36, reportedly was fired a month ago from First Union Securities because of discrepancies in his accounts and aggressive trading practices. Police say he returned to the brokerage Tuesday morning and killed Timothy K. O'Shaughnessy, 40.

The search for Ludlam focused on southeastern Virginia because a witness saw him in Portsmouth as late as Tuesday afternoon. ``We don't have anything to indicate that he left the area,'' said Larry Hill, a spokesman for Norfolk police.

Police warned that Ludlam was armed and should be considered dangerous.

Ludlam arrived at the office at about 8:30 a.m., encountered several employees and confronted O'Shaughnessy, witnesses told police. He told at least one other person in the office, ``You'd better get out of here,'' shot his former boss, then fled, police said.

Ludlam ran to a nearby parking garage and fled in O'Shaughnessy's 1998 green Honda Accord, police said. The car was still missing Wednesday.

First Union's Norfolk office remained closed Wednesday. Senior officers from the home office in Richmond were in Norfolk to meet with employees, and counselors were made available to employees in both cities, Mattera said.

Ludlam, a 1986 graduate of the Naval Academy and a Gulf War veteran, was discharged from the Navy as a lieutenant in March 1996, according to military records. He also had worked for a discount brokerage before joining First Union.

In September, Ludlam was arrested and charged with failure to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge. Hill said he did not know what the charge was. Ludlam was released from jail on $500 bond, authorities said.

While Ludlam was in the Navy, he was charged with drunken driving and possession of marijuana, The Virginian-Pilot reported. A judge found Ludlam guilty of reckless driving, and Ludlam was given a 90-day suspended jail sentence, court records show.

O'Shaughnessy, who was married with four boys ages 6 and under, was transferred to First Union's Norfolk office several months ago after managing the company's office in Elizabeth City, N.C., company officials told The Virginian-Pilot. Ludlam was hired by the Norfolk office several months before O'Shaughnessy became manager, officials said.

Thomas Love, who brought O'Shaughnessy to First Union more than seven years ago, said O'Shaughnessy was scrutinizing Ludlam's accounts and was concerned about the aggressive nature of the investments and how Ludlam would react to being fired.