WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — A former University of Maine football player was held without bail after he made his initial appearance in court Thursday on charges that he brutally killed a man and attacked the mother of his child.
The court also released details Thursday of the crimes Zedric Joseph, 24, of West Palm Beach, Florida, is accused of committing. Joseph is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery and burglary while armed in connection with the March 7 attack.
According to the affidavit filed by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Vashti Laurore, 23, the mother of Joseph’s daughter, called 911 to report she and her male friend had been stabbed.
Both were taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center where the man, Ricardy Chery, 23, was pronounced dead after suffering severe stab wounds. Laurore suffered a severe cut to her left hand.
She told police she and Chery were in the bedroom of her locked apartment when Joseph broke through the bedroom door holding a knife. He immediately and without provocation began stabbing Chery, according to the affidavit.
Chery rolled off the bed in an attempt to get away and begged Joseph to stop stabbing him. Joseph then told the victim he was going to die and he was going to “learn,” according to the affidavit.
Joseph allegedly ordered both Laurore and Chery to get on their knees on the floor, and he began kicking Chery in the abdomen and spitting on him, police reported.
The woman begged Joseph to stop, but he put the knife against her throat and told her she was going to “die today,” according to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s report.
She grabbed the knife to pull it away, and Joseph allegedly cut her severely in the thumb area of her left hand.
He subsequently left, police said.
On March 12, Joseph was arrested in Georgia in connection with the double stabbing.
Florida law enforcement needed to apply for a warrant from the governor of Georgia to extradite Joseph after he refused to sign the waiver of extradition paperwork two months ago.
Laurore and Joseph had been in a relationship for about five years and had one child.
Joseph lived with Laurore, her son, and their child in Orono in 2012, when he was accused of attacking her. UMaine police arrested Joseph for domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening and misdemeanor assault Dec. 17, 2012, after Laurore — whose name is spelled Vasthi Laurori in Maine court documents — told officers Joseph tried to strangle her twice and threatened to kill her in a jealous rage.
The case was later plea-bargained to disorderly conduct, for which Joseph spent 48 hours in jail. He also was intermittently suspended from the school and the football team, UMaine officials have said, declining to provide details of the disciplinary action taken. Joseph returned to the football field the following season.
Joseph was suspended March 8 from the university, where he was studying child development and family relations.
Joseph was arrested by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office on the warrant out of Florida and had been held at the Richmond County Jail in Augusta, Georgia, for the last two months before being sent back to Florida.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.