WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — A jury trial is scheduled for October for a former University of Maine football player who is accused of killing a man and trying to kill his former girlfriend.
Zedric Joseph remains at the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and burglary while armed in connection with a violent knife attack on March 7, 2014, that caused the death of 23-year-old Ricardy Chery and injured Vashti Laurore.
A court clerk said that the jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 26.
Joseph was arrested in Georgia five days after the knife attack and extradited to Florida on June 4, 2014.
Laurore told police that 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 a police affidavit filed in the case.
Chery rolled off the bed in an attempt to get away and begged Joseph to stop stabbing him, according to the affidavit. Joseph then told the victim he was going to die and he was going to “learn.”
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. Laurore 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 and palm of her left hand before he left.
Laurore and Joseph had been in a relationship for about five years and had one child together.
Back in 2012, Joseph had been accused of attacking Laurore while they lived together with her son from a prior relationship and their daughter in Orono. UMaine police arrested Joseph on charges of domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening and misdemeanor assault on Dec. 17, 2012, after Laurore told officers that Joseph had tried to strangle her twice and threatened to kill her in a jealous rage.
Joseph took a plea bargain on a disorderly conduct charge, for which he spent 48 hours in jail. He also was suspended from the school and the football team on an interim basis after the 2012 incident, according to UMaine officials. He returned to the football field the next season.
After being named a suspect in the West Palm Beach stabbings, Joseph was suspended again on March 8, 2014, from UMaine, where he was studying child development and family relations.
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.