Beranton Whisenant: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

beranton whisenant

Beranton Whisenant.(Facebook)

The body of a respected federal prosecutor in Miami, Beranton Whisenant Jr., washed up on a Hollywood, Florida beach, and it’s still a mystery how he died.

The cause of death – including whether Whisenant was murdered – was still under investigation. However, The Miami Herald reported that the death “is being investigated as a crime” by the Hollywood Police Department.

According to ABC News, the 37-year-old prosecutor’s body bore a head wound.

In 2013, CNN quoted an expert who called murders of prosecutors in the United States “beyond rare,” and reported that “only 13 prosecutors have been killed in the line of duty in the past 100 years.” Murders of federal prosecutors are rarer still, although it’s not clear yet what happened to Whisenant.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Whisenant’s Body Was Found on the Beach by a Passerby & He Was a Married Father

beranton whisenant

Beranton Whisenant. (Facebook/Jefferson Knight)

The federal prosecutor’s body was discovered lying on the city beach on Wednesday, May 24. His body had washed up on the beach, and The Miami Herald reported that it’s not clear whether he died there.

“Whisenant may have suffered a head wound caused by a possible gunshot or other type of trauma,” The Herald reported.

A passerby alerted police to the body, reported The Associated Press.

According to ABC News, Whisenant was married and was a father of three. “Whisenant lived in Miramar with his wife, Ebony, a physician who teaches at Florida International University’s College of Medicine,” reported Miami Herald.

The Miami Herald noted that the investigation was still preliminary and cautioned that, if the case were a murder, authorities would more likely be sounding an alarm and hunting for suspects. However, it has not yet been publicly released how Whisenant died.

The man who took the above photo and shared it on Facebook wrote, “Many of us knew Beranton Whisenant well enough to call him a friend. His future was very bright.”


2. Whisenant Was a Prosecutor in the Major Crimes Unit in Miami Who Handled Immigration Cases

beranton whisenant

Beranton Whisenant. (Facebook)

Whisenant was handling some serious cases for the federal prosecutor’s office in Miami. PACER, the federal court record website, lists him as an attorney in 39 cases. Not all of those date from his time in the U.S. attorney’s office, but there are a number of May filings listed.

His recent cases focused on illegal immigration issues. For example, in one recent case, a woman was accused of re-entering the U.S. illegally from Guatemala who had previously been ordered removed from the United States. In another recent case, a man was accused of buying a fake Italian passport and trying to enter Miami with it.

Whisenant was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit. His LinkedIn page says that Whisenant had only been in the U.S. Attorney’s office for five months.

According to ABC News, Whisenant “had been working on visa and passport fraud cases, according to court documents.”

An eyewitness told NBC Miami of finding the body: “When the tide came in he obviously was caught in the surf and tumbling,” describing him as “very well dressed wearing a sort of a casual business shirt, black pants, and all of his personal effects were on him and that’s what we found unusual.”


3. Whisenant Was Praised as a ‘Great Lawyer’ by Colleagues

Whisenant’s colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office had fond recollections of him. In 2016, the Florida Bar Leadership Academy published a list of Whisenant’s accomplishments, writing, “Class III Fellow Beranton Whisenant, Jr. was not only outstanding during his time in the Academy but also a phenomenal leader in his community! He has made many accomplishments during the past year as a Fellow and we know he will continue to do so.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press that Whisenant was a “great lawyer and wonderful colleague.”

However, Greenberg wasn’t commenting beyond that on the death.

According to The Miami Herald, Michael Feiler, a Miami lawyer who knew Whisenant, called him “the epitome of a gentleman” and said he “possessed an exceptional legal mind.” Friends told the Miami Herald that Whisenant was devoted to public service and hoped to become a judge some day.


4. Whisenant Worked in Private Practice Before Becoming a Federal Prosecutor

According to his LinkedIn page, Whisenant had a career in private practice before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“I serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Before joining he U.S. Department of Justice, I was a partner in the Miami office of Foley & Mansfield, PLLP where I focused my legal practice in civil litigation, product liability, contracts, personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice defense,” Whisenant wrote on LinkedIn.

“Before joining Foley & Mansfield, I served as an Assistant State Attorney in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.”

A friend wrote on Facebook, “My condolences go out to the family and friends of Beranton Whisenant, Jr. His passing leaves a hole in the legal community’s heart and soul. Rest In Peace my brother.”


5. Whisenant Served on Prominent Legal Boards & Taught Law

Whisenant was a respected member of the legal community in Florida.

“I am an active member of The Florida Bar, a leader in voluntary bar organizations, and an advocate for professionalism and civility in the practice of law,” his LinkedIn page says. “I served as a member of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Professionalism Panel and Chair of The Florida Bar’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee – Division ‘L.’ I am a Florida Bar – William Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy fellow, a member of The Florida Bar’s Judicial Nominations Procedure committee, and member on the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism.”

He also taught at the college level.

“I am a lecturer at the University of Miami Paralegal Program where I teach procedure and contract law,” he said on LinkedIn. “I have served as a guest lecturer at the University of Miami School of Law and Florida Coastal School of Law and I have presented as a speaker at several continuing legal education courses on the topics of civil procedure, jury selection, trial skills, discovery, deposition techniques, criminal procedure, ethics, civility, and professionalism.”

He received his law degree from the University of Florida, where he served on the Honor Code Committee, was president of the Legal Team, and was in the Phi Alpha Delta fraternity. He also studied at the University of Cape Town. Throughout his life, he was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and did pro bono legal work.

54 Comments

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54 Comments

Jeraldine Eason

Very sad for his family. He probably found some proof of donald drumph’s treason and fraudulent business deals. You can bet drumph has gotten rid of people who find proof of his nefarious tactics.

Darth Logic

Are you retarded or just pretending, i’ve heard sources that clearly state he was the head prosecutor investing the DNC’s corruption and possible assassinations of leakers, total opposite of your knee-jerk puppet response.

Richard

The article does not indicate that he is involved with investigations of the DNC, can you support your comment?

American

Don’t pay jeraldine the useful idiot any mind. She’s just doing her job for the DNC like a good little sycophant. Guess EVERYONE has to make a living…

Barbara Sakatos

Dolores knows what truly is going on here. Clinton does have bodies trailing behind her as she walks. How about the judge, female Black judge found dead in the Hudson River NY? These two people were very respected, intelligent, respected highly. This is so wrong. We need to know what truly happened here. I wish I could have known them to experience their beauty in this world. Correct me if I am wrong about the Hudson river. These two news stories upset me.

Anonymous

he was investigating the DNC elections in Miami.learn to read

Anonymous

I think you have him confused with the Clintons…

Carl Looney

You are the non-thinking scum who cause so much trouble. Your type of people ruin democracies and usher in dictatorships. You can’t be that ignorant about Hillary Clinton, the murderer, pedophile, killer and seller of body parts at clinics where very rich people get new body parts, etc.

Anonymous

He deserve it pig SUBHANA ALLAH he put him self were he does not have to be calling him self a god right now he is in hell having some fan haha @ ashiraf warner# (ISIL)

rahowa

woah wtf are you even talking about? You know how many judges and prosecuters are in America, but this black man that dies of mysterious circumstance is the one that deserves it?

Fran

You are the pig. You see black and you immediately attack his character. Well, you are wrong. God does not like ugly and right now you are one ugly person

Richard

Obviously Anonymous has mental problems but I see no indication in his comment that seeing black is involved…Would be interesting Fran to read your support for your comment.

Virginia

Fran, you could use a lesson in comprehension. Anonymous is either a troll or Radical Islamist (Terrorist unk).

ed

What the hell does this say? What kind of psychotic rambling is this?

Anonymous

You are obviously not who you are pretending to be!! But what is new that is the environment we are now living in this country of ours. What has happened to civility to honor of the dead. No person who believes in Allah would say the things you just said. Shame on you Allah is watching. Islam is a religion of peace kindness honor.

Anonymous

Islam is a religion of perversion and subversion of other religions. Islam is a parasite trying to use the world for its gain. Cowards

bellasognatore

Islam is the religion of murder, rape, and hatred. Probably has nothing to do with this case though. Bernaton was an accomplished, and by every indication, a very good man. HOpe he rests in peace and that there is justice for his family. What a shame!

American

hey you pork-loving POS your English SUCKS!!!!! Your goat called and said you’re late for your date! You better get going!!!

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