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Accomplice in teen's murder receives life sentence

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:42 PM

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BROOKSVILLE Tears fell as Carmen Acevedo looked at the woman responsible for the death of her son and told her she hoped she never again saw the light of day.

Sherrie Dicus, who already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, and carjacking, sat quietly as she faced the mother of one of her victims, 18-year-old Ricky Acevedo.

"Still to this day you have yet to look at me and say you're sorry," Acevedo said. "I just hope you never see daylight — you do not belong in society.

In that sense, Acevedo got her wish.

Despite defense attorneys' attempts to plead for leniency due to Dicus' past of physical, sexual and drug abuse along with bouts of depression, Judge Daniel Merritt Sr. instead sided with prosecutor's arguments on Monday that Dicus still knew right from wrong.

He then sentenced her to two life-terms in prison, plus another 30 years for armed robbery and 20 years for carjacking.

"You have without a doubt had a tough life and made some poor choices," Merritt said. "Many people have had similar backgrounds and became productive citizens. Some turn to crime. Very few times do they turn to murder or attempted murder."

He also pointed to her prior drug convictions and violation of probation, adding that there was little to show that if released from prison, she wouldn't return to a life of crime.

In June of 2010, Ricky and his girlfriend, Skyler Collins, rode to Emerson Road to pick up Steven Wesolek — whom Collins knew from high school — Dicus and her daughter, Sabrina, who was at that time dating Wesolek.

The three of them wanted to leave town and Acevedo, who was driving Collins' red Ford Mustang, agreed to take them part of the way.

As Ricky drove eastbound along Ayers Road, Wesolek stabbed him in his head and neck while the elder Dicus choked Collins from behind with a strap. Sabrina Dicus leaned forward and held the steering wheel while the other two carried out their attacks.

The car swerved off the road and the three suspects got away. Ricky died on the street while paramedics were en route. Collins was treated at a local hospital and released.

Wesolek has since been sentenced to life in prison also and is currently incarcerated at Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol.

Soon after issuing Dicus a life sentence on Monday, Merritt sentenced Sabrina to 10 years in prison and 15 years probation for the charges of second degree murder, attempted murder, carjacking and robbery.

In her statement to the court, Sabrina tearfully told Acevedo she was sorry and told Merritt she just wanted to go home.

Acevedo again took the stand and told the teen she doesn't hate her and asked the judge if she could hug the girl — which she was counseled against doing by prosecutors due to the security risk.

"Maybe your mother didn't hug you enough," Acevedo said. "You look like you could use one now."

Following the ruling of Sherrie Dicus, both Carmen and Aristides Acevedo, Ricky's father, agreed they were pleased with the judge's ruling.

"I hope she now sits in jail and thinks about what she did to our family," Acevedo said. "No mother should have to bury her son; they should be burying us.

"No one else should have to go through what we've gone through."

Reporter Tony Holt contributed to this story. (352) 544-5271

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