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Leonard Bernstein

Regulation and Compliance > Litigation

90-Year-Old Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Who Shot Business Partner Dies

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What You Need to Know

  • Leonard Bernstein was fired July 1, a day after he was arrested on suspicion of shooting Chris Bayouth, his business partner.
  • Bernstein's obituary stated that he struggled with mental health issues late in life.

The 90-year-old broker who was terminated by Morgan Stanley on July 1, one day after he was arrested on suspicion of shooting his business partner, has died, according to a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma City and an obituary in The Oklahoman on Thursday.

The cause of Leonard David Bernstein’s death was not immediately clear on Tuesday.

“His death was reported to our office,” the medical examiner’s spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday. “Based on the information provided to our agency at the time, the death was reported to our office and the statutes … jurisdiction was waived,” the spokesperson added.

The Oklahoma City Police Department, meanwhile, is “not investigating the death as anything criminal in nature,” a police spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment on Tuesday.

Bernstein died July 28, according to the obituary, which said he worked as a broker until July 1. In 1983, he married his second wife, Dianne, and the two of them “enjoyed almost 40 years of happiness together until his recent death,” the obituary said.

“At the end of Leonard’s long and exemplary life, he unfortunately struggled with mental health issues,” according to the obituary.

“A service to honor and celebrate Leonard’s amazing life will be held at a later date,” it added. “In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider making a donation in Leonard’s honor to either Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation for Diseases of Aging at or a facility of your choosing that deals with mental health issues.”

On June 30, Bernstein entered his firm’s office building on Waterford Boulevard on Oklahoma City and shot Chris Bayouth, 61, several times with a handgun, according to Oklahoma County Detention Center and Oklahoma City police documents.

Bernstein was released on $50,000 bail, according to the Oklahoma City jail blotter. An initial criminal complaint was filed against him July 1 in Oklahoma County District Court, saying there was probable cause to charge him with shooting with intent to kill, a felony. Judge Kevin C. McCray was assigned the case.

Also last month, in Oklahoma County District Court, Morgan Stanley sought a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction and permanent injunction against Bernstein that the complaint said was intended to stop him from “continuing to engage in workplace harassment and from causing irreparable injury to Morgan Stanley, its employees, and its customers.”

The Shooting

Bernstein and Bayouth had been partners for nine months, according to a probable cause affidavit provided to ThinkAdvisor last month that cited “witness C.C.” as a source of that information. “Mr. Bernstein’s health has declined, and he decided to hand over his managed accounts to the victim,” according to the affidavit.

“C.C. said she was on the phone when she heard two gunshots coming from the victim’s office,” the affidavit went on to say. “C.C. looked into the victim’s office, and she saw Mr. Bernstein pointing a handgun at the victim and shooting several shots at him. C.C. said Mr. Bernstein continued to shoot the victim until the handgun slide locked back. C.C. took off running out to the parking lot where she called the police.”

Bernstein allegedly went on to “calmly exit the office building, get into his red Chrysler 300″ and leave, according to the affidavit.

According to an incident report that was provided to ThinkAdvisor, on June 30 at 3:14 p.m., Oklahoma City Police Officer Travis Ratcliffe investigated an assault with a deadly weapon at Morgan Stanley’s office building at 6305 Waterford Blvd.

Police found Bernstein in his car and arrested him, according to the incident report.

Ratcliffe continued to the Morgan Stanley office, where he said the Oklahoma City Fire Department and emergency services personnel had already arrived.

Bayouth was lying on the floor behind his desk, “conscious and alert,” according to Ratcliffe, who said in his incident report that he asked the victim who shot him, and Bayouth replied, “Leonard Bernstein,” his business partner, according to the officer.

Bayouth told the officer that Bernstein said he was going for a walk in the park and then shot him, according to the report.

“Chris may have been shot as many as five times,” according to Ratcliffe, who said he requested more officers because of the large number of witnesses.

The victim was taken to OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center, according to the probable cause affidavit. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

(Pictured: Leonard Bernstein; provided by Oklahoma County Detention Center)


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