Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another DV Murder Suspect Out on Bond - Part 2

As I blogged earlier this week, Cedric Harp was granted a $5,000 bond in the case where he is charged with the 2nd degree murder of his wife.

Judge Walter Komanski is the judge who granted the bond on January 5th. The defendant posted his 10% (or $500) and walked out of jail the following day.

I found no other conditions (like GPS monitoring or home confinement, etc.) on the Court's Order. The motion filed by defense counsel indicated that the State stipulated to the amount of $5000 plus home confinement. There is no metion of home confinement on the Order, nor is it on the bond paperwork in the Clerk's file.

It makes me wonder if Judge Komanski read the Order when he signed it.

That same day, Administrative Judge Reginald Whitehead transferred the case from Komanski's division to another judge. No reason for the transfer was indicated in the file.

All of this causes me to ask a couple of other questions. The following defendants, also accused of 2nd degree murder, are still in jail. Take a look at their photos and tell me why their bond amounts are as noted:

Michelle Wheeler
No Bond
Arrested 1/16/09

Ocoee police identify man who was stabbed to death by girlfriend

Sarah Lundy
Sentinel Staff Writer
January 18, 2009

OCOEE - Ocoee police late Saturday released the name of a man who was fatally stabbed early Friday.

Jerry Cisco, 37, died after he was taken to Health Central hospital.

Investigators arrested Michelle D. Wheeler, 44, his girlfriend of four years, and charged her with second-degree murder. She remained in the Orange County Jail on Saturday night without bail.

A third party called officers about 1 a.m. Friday to report a domestic incident at the Floral Street residence. They found Cisco stabbed in the upper left side of the chest, police said. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Rosalinda Norma Vargas a/k/a Rosalinda Norma Boyd
No Bond
Arrested 10/26/09

Woman accused of killing boyfriend ordered held without bond
Bianca Prieto Sentinel Staff Writer
8:59 p.m. EDT, October 27, 2009

Murder suspect Rosalinda Vargas is in jail, but family members say she needs to be in a mental hospital.

Vargas is accused of stabbing her boyfriend of two years, Jozel Laster, in the chest during an argument in their apartment early Monday. Laster, 51, died at the hospital after Orlando police officers at the scene could not revive him. A judge on Tuesday ordered Vargas, 51, held without bail at the Orange County Jail on a second-degree murder charge. Vargas, who also goes by Rosalinda Boyd, said little during the short hearing.

Three of her six living children -- Sandra Rivera, Olivia Betanco, 30, and Nancy Vargas, 34 -- attended the hearing and were audibly upset to learn that their mother would remain behind bars rather than get into a mental-health program.

"This is not my mama," Rivera, 23, said after the hearing. "This escalated from this man beating on my mama and she just got tired."

Police have not disclosed what they think led to the fatal stabbing, but court records document a violent relationship between the two that often left Vargas bloody and bruised.

Court records show that in July 2008 Laster arrived at their motel room possibly drunk and on drugs about 3:30 a.m. and demanded to have sex with Vargas. When she refused him, he forced himself on her and then punched her in the face, reports show.

She was able to run from the room and flag down an Orange County deputy for help. The deputy noted "a large swollen area" near Vargas' eye and cheek bone and that blood had started appear on her eyeball. Vargas later declined to press charges against her boyfriend for the sexual attack.

Laster was arrested for battery, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia -- the deputy found a crack pipe in his pocket. He later pleaded guilty to resisting arrest.

In January Eatonville officers arrested Laster after Vargas called police to report he'd been beating her, reports show. The two were arguing when Laster began punching Vargas in the face and ribs, report show. She ran to a neighbor’s house to call police. Officers found a crack pipe in Laster's pocket. He was charged with domestic violence battery and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In June he pleaded no contest and sentenced to 131 days in jail, time served and placed on one year of probation, records show. Laster had an extensive criminal history that spans 30 years and includes drug, theft and battery charges, records show.

The beatings were no surprise to Vargas' daughters, who said they knew their mother was abused but said she could not leave Laster because he "brainwashed" her. They claim Laster threatened to kill Vargas if she left him, and he isolated her from her family.

This was not the first time Vargas had suffered abuse, her daughters said. The 51-year-old Chicago native was beaten and raped as a teen, sexually abused by an uncle and had been homeless. She was suicidal, often suffered from illusions and thought her dead husband and a dead former boyfriend "hunted" her at night, Rivera said.

It's also not the first time Vargas stabbed someone. In 2005, Vargas was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery in the stabbing of her boyfriend of 19 years with a kitchen knife, reports show. The victim, Wesley Contrad Stewart, was asleep on the couch when Vargas attacked him for calling her a bad name, records show. Betanco witnessed the stabbing and said the relationship between her mom and Stewart was never violent before then.

In January 2006, Vargas pleaded no contest to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. She was sentenced to a year in jail with time served. She also was ordered on probation for 18 months and was told to avoid places where alcohol is the "primary source of revenue."

Stewart died of cancer in April 2007, Rivera said. Shortly after that, she met Laster and the beatings began, her daughters said.

"We love her and we're not giving up on her," Nancy Vargas said. "We don't want her to feel like she is by herself."

All three defendants have criminal histories. Both women have lengthy histories of being victimized by their partners. The man is out of jail after 3 weeks. Wheeler has been in jail for a year. Vargas, nearly 3 months. Why the disparity?


  1. Unbelievable.
    Judicial immunity needs to be reconsidered.

  2. I am amazed that you would find interest in Michelle Wheeler's case when her history clearly shows of her abusive patterns, in and out of jail, alcohol and drug abuse and mental instability, as well as the inability to function in society, long before Jerry (an innocent victum of her deceptive ploy) was killed without mercy. Because she is where she is, there are people still safe and alive. Thank God! Not only innocent citizens, but the precious children who have suffered at the hand of this murderous woman's abuse before. It is not the first time she has done time. Prison is no stranger to her. If you are going to "make note" of things, get the records straight. Jerry nor the kids cannot speak for themselves. But we can!

  3. Did you see Jerry the week before he was murdered? Did you see the bruises on his face where he has been beaten, scratched, black eye and other marks of domestic violence? Where does your sympathy come from when you don't know the whole story. Jerry's criminal history comes from her family calling the police on him and having him arrested. All of them at one time or the other has done this. Check the court records. He pled guilty most of the time just to be able to get out and keep his job. He was stripped of his dignity, pride, and was a successful business man flourishing before she came into his life. Ask people that really knew Jerry about who he was, not her family who was out to get him from the beginning and take everything they could, and they did. What if the tables were turned and Michelle was the one who died....would you so quickly defend Jerry for domestic violence? It's obvious who the real batter is, she is the one alive, Jerry is dead, does that show anything? What will it take for anyone to see the truth? Until another innocent victim is killed? No one will be safe if she is releasaed. It will be a matter of time before she strikes again. She beat her own sister black and blue, will that come out in court?

  4. Komanski is a judge who sadly has been a judge too long. My family was torn apart badly and many years were lost due to this judge. I hope one day he will have the sense to retire. He stole my son away from me and I missed almost 18 years of his life due to this judge.

    My young daughter has lost her whole life to this point not knowing or being able to love her big brother. It was as if I was not there. It was as if my son did not exist anymore to any of us. Komanski in my opinion is dangerous.

    He gave me no chance at all to pick up my pieces of my life and be a mother to my son. They had this all planned out in advance and nothing I did would have changed anything. Yet here I sit, with a beautiful young lady in my house (my daughter) who by all accounts is well adjusted, polite, funny, and smart. Everyone who comes in contact with her is touched in some way. I am capable of that with her yet I could not have done so with my son?

    What gives Komanski? We see where your loyalties lie - and it is NOT with the victims. Rtire before you are responsible for freeing an abuser who kills someone.

  5. all I can say about Cisco is that if he was still alive he would continue to abuse anyone that came into his live!His family lived out of state, he only told them what he wanted then to know, so they would send him money so he could continue to buy his drugs on side streets, and ally's ,were I have seen this my self.I'm not saying Cisco deserved to die, but what I am saying is,if some people only know what they are told and form there own thoughts!Men judges really don't give a damn about women!I know that first hand!I'm sorry the cisco family lost a loved one, and they can blame it on what ever they want to , but the bottom line is nothing can make a person abuse another person if they don't want to, he could have left just as easy as she could, all the finger pointing and bad mouthing family will not change the fact of what happend,But these so called jugdes need to be stopped they need to step down if they cannot make fair choices for both sexes!!!!