Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

Brandon man accused of fatally shooting wife's lover in living room

BRANDON — First neighbors and then newlyweds, a 70-year-old husband caught his 41-year-old wife having sex with her former roommate Sunday and shot him to death, investigators said.

Married less than five months, Ralph Lewis Wald and Johnna Flores shared a home at 513 Clara Drive in Brandon.

Just before midnight Sunday, Wald woke up and headed to the kitchen for a drink of water. On his way there, authorities said, he found Flores having sex with Walter Lee Conley, 32, her former roommate, in the living room.

Wald returned to the bedroom and emerged with a handgun. He shot Conley several times, said Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

Conley, of 13108 Lovers Lane in Riverview, died at the scene.

Wald called 911. He told a dispatcher he shot Conley after finding the pair "fornicating" in the house, Carter said. Because of the admission, the agency isn't publicly releasing the 911 tape, she said, and it likely won't come out until the case goes to court.

Flores was not injured.

Wald was interviewed by detectives and arrested. He faces a second-degree murder charge and was held without bail Monday in the Hillsborough County jail.

Flores is Wald's fifth wife. The two were next-door neighbors before they married Oct. 31.

The marriage came about two weeks after Flores was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — for taking a shot at Conley.

Records show that about 3 a.m. Oct. 19, Flores fired a round at Conley, who had been staying at her home at 511 Clara Drive for about two weeks. She said she had asked him several times to leave, an affidavit shows, but Conley said she had invited him to stay.

Hours later, records show, Wald bailed Flores out of jail. The neighbors were dating at the time.

The case was later dropped.

Conley, described in jail records as a laborer, had been arrested three times in Florida, state records show — twice on petty theft counts and once for violation of probation. Records show he was sentenced to time served in jail.

Before Wald married Flores, he was married to Karen Singletary of Valrico. They have a 20-year-old son.

"I'm just totally in shock right now," Singletary said after hearing of her former husband's arrest. "He's not a bad man. Oh, my gosh. I'm just, like, devastated right now."

Wald served in the Army for more than 20 years, Singletary said. After the military, he attended Stetson University College of Law and became a lawyer.

Florida Bar records show he was admitted in 1989 and list no disciplinary history.

Singletary and Wald married in October 1992, records show. They divorced about five years later.

Singletary, 51, said her ex-husband is not a violent man. He owned a gun when they got married. But when their son was born, Wald got rid of it.

"Never any kind of violence or anything involved," she said. "He's a straightforward guy."

Wald did not have a criminal past in Florida, records show.

Times staff writer Patty Ryan and news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Laura C. Morel can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

Comments
Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

TAMPA — After a botched burglary, a fleeing suspect jumped into a canal to escape deputies Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The person has not yet been identified. The suspect tried to break into a business on...
Published: 05/19/18
Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades were clinging to life Saturday, a day after their passenger jet crashed in a fireball in Havana’s rural outskirts with 113 people on board. In the first official dea...
Published: 05/19/18
He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

Cosmo DiNardo declared "I am a savage no explanation needed" on social media seven months before police say he lured four young men to his family’s farm, shot them to death, ran one of them over with a backhoe and dumped three of their bodies in a pi...
Published: 05/19/18
Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested an off-duty Largo firefighter found asleep at the wheel shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday.Patrol deputies saw a 2013 Dodge Dart, facing west and stopped in the intersection of Main Street and Bass Bou...
Published: 05/19/18
After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

Hours after Friday’s deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, bay area law enforcement officials pledged to beef up school security for the last remaining days of the school year.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister held a news conference late Frid...
Published: 05/18/18
Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

LARGO — Police are searching for a person of interest in the January disappearance of a 24-year-old man.The missing man is Timothy Patrick Cullen, 24, who Largo police said was last seen Jan. 22 at his home in the 500 block of Seventh Ave NE. His veh...
Published: 05/18/18
Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

BAYONET POINT — A 26-year-old man was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated child abuse and accused of fracturing an infant’s skull, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Brandon Scott Madrishin told deputies that a 3-month-old infant ...
Published: 05/18/18
20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

When her school bus pulled up to her house that day, Ashley Bell spotted her mom’s car in the driveway and wondered why it was there. A 14-year-old latchkey kid, Bell usually got home before her mother Carolyn arrived from her job as a nurse at St. J...
Published: 05/18/18
Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

SANTA FE, Texas — The Texas student charged in the school shooting at Santa Fe High School posted an image on Facebook of himself wearing a "Born to Kill" shirt and used his father’s shotgun and pistol in the attack that left 10 dead and 10 wounded, ...
Published: 05/18/18
Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing 10 people

Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing 10 people

SANTA FE, Texas — A 17-year-old carrying a shotgun and a revolver opened fire at a Houston-area high school Friday, killing 10 people, most of them students, authorities said. It was the nation’s deadliest such attack since the massacre in Florida th...
Published: 05/18/18