MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man accused of stabbing a well-known chef to death served time in Florida in the 1990s for throwing a man to his death off an 11th-floor balcony, according to records.
Jonathan Brush, 57, was a server at The Second Line restaurant in Overton Square, management at The Second Line confirmed.
The man he allegedly stabbed to death on Sam Cooper Boulevard was a well-known Memphis chef, restaurant management at Lafayette’s Music Room confirmed.
Victim Jody Moyt, 42, was the executive chef at Lafayette’s Music Room for nine years, and oversaw kitchens at B.B. King’s, Itta Bena and Moondance, said Julien Salley Jr., general manager at Lafayette’s.
“He did so much to influence so many chefs in Memphis,” Salley said. “I think he’ll be remembered through all these talented chefs who owe their career to Chef Jody.”
Salley said he last saw Moyt as he was wrapping up a busy 14-hour shift Sunday, the night he was killed.
“We shook hands, and he was out the door, and that was the last I saw of him,” Salley said.
Moyt was the father of a 4-year-old child, Salley said.
Jonathan Brush, 57, is charged with second-degree murder in Moyt’s death.
According to Memphis Police, Brush called 911 on Sunday night to tell them another driver had run his car off the road at Sam Cooper and Hollywood. He told police he thought the man threatened him, so he stabbed the man.
Moyt was found in the driver’s seat of his car suffering from multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Court records from Walton County, Florida show Brush served time there for second-degree murder in the early 1990s. He was sentenced in 1992 and released in 2003.
According to a 1991 story in the Tampa Bay Times, Brush was accused of throwing a man off an 11th-floor balcony at his condo in Destin, Florida.
Police records from Walton County confirmed that story.
A general manager at The Second Line, and a WREG employee who recently dined at the restaurant, confirmed Brush was a server at the Overton Square restaurant.
Chef Kelly English, owner and Chef at The Second Line, released a statement on Twitter sending his support to the team at Lafayette’s.
“There is nothing I can say that can make anything easier for the circle that loved Chef Jody Moyt. Hug your people tonight…rest easy, chef,” he wrote.