Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In change, prosecutors won't seek death penalty in Hernando County murder case

BROOKSVILLE — An official with the State Attorney's Office announced Friday that prosecutors would not seek the death penalty against a woman accused of murder and attempted murder.

The suspect, Sherrie Dicus, 39, was not present to hear the announcement in Circuit Judge Stephen Rushing's courtroom.

Along with her daughter Sabrina Dicus, 15, and Steven Wesolek, 20, Sherrie Dicus is accused of murdering Enrique Daniel Acevedo, 18, and attempting to murder his girlfriend, Skyler Collins, then also 18. Prosecutors had initially announced they would seek the death penalty for both Sherrie Dicus and Wesolek.

According to arrest affidavits, Acevedo and Collins drove to Emerson Road south of Brooksville on June 20 to pick up Wesolek, who is Collins' ex-boyfriend, and two of his friends.

After the three got into Collins' red 2001 Ford Mustang convertible, Acevedo was stabbed twice in the back of the neck and Collins was choked until she lost consciousness. Collins regained consciousness when Acevedo slammed on the brakes, and the couple stumbled out of the car near the intersection of Ayers and Culbreath roads.

Acevedo died on the side of the road as the car drove away. Collins had ligature marks on her neck and was treated at a hospital for her injuries.

In other court news Friday:

• Edwin Rosado pleaded no contest to a host of charges that included nine counts of sexual battery against a child. He accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years probation.

• Michael James Pugh Jr., 34, also agreed to a deal before Rushing, pleading guilty to felony charges of sexual activity with a minor and interference with child custody. He received 24 months in prison and five years of probation.

On April 22, a then-17-year-old girl was reported missing to New Port Richey police. Days later, authorities say, the girl's brother learned she was staying with Lisa Messer, then 20, at Pugh's Rusk Circle home.

The brother went to Pugh's home and asked Messer where his sister was. Although Messer said she didn't know, the teen soon emerged from hiding in a closet and left with her brother.

A Hernando County Sheriff's Office report said Messer told the brother that Pugh had videotaped sexual encounters between himself and the girl on a webcam and had taken still photos as well. The brother told Pugh to remove the images from his computer. Pugh showed the brother a video of himself having sex with the girl and asked, "Do you want me to delete the (still) pictures, too?"

The girl told deputies that she had run away from her mother, the report said. She said that after Messer and Pugh picked her up in New Port Richey, they returned to Pugh's home and she shut off her cell phone so her family could not track her.

John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or jcox@sptimes.com.

In change, prosecutors won't seek death penalty in Hernando County murder case 03/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 11, 2011 6:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.