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Accomplice in teen's murder pleads guilty

Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:54 PM
BROOKSVILLE -

Carmen Acevedo did not want to sit through another trial.

She didn't want to listen to anymore testimony about the way her 18-year-old son, Ricky, was murdered.

She already heard what witnesses had to say. She remembers the recording of the knife-wielding killer confessing to his crime. She and her family sat for hours as they waited for jurors to come back with a verdict and then a life sentence for Steven Wesolek, the one who stabbed Ricky during a June 2010 carjacking.

Acevedo was relieved when she learned Wesolek's co-defendant, Sherrie Dicus, changed her plea to guilty Thursday in Hernando County Circuit Court.

The plea agreement means there will be no more harrowing details to listen to and no more deliberations to sit through for the Acevedo family.

"That would have been very hard on us, going through all of that again," said Acevedo. "Finally, we can put everything behind us and look to the future. Obviously, someone very special to us will be missing, but our family can move on."

Dicus, 40, was originally charged with first-degree murder in addition to attempted murder, carjacking and robbery. If convicted, she would have received life in prison. The State Attorney's Office was not pursuing the death penalty.

She pleaded guilty Thursday to a lesser count of second-degree murder, but because of her prior convictions, Dicus could still be sent to prison for life.

The judge will decide her fate Oct. 22, when Dicus returns to court for her sentencing hearing.

Wesolek, who turns 22 today, is incarcerated at Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol.

Ricky and his girlfriend, Skyler Collins, rode to Emerson Road to pick up Wesolek and his girlfriend, Sabrina Dicus, 16, and Dicus' mother, Sherrie.

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.

Wesolek and Collins knew each other from high school. Even still, Ricky didn't want his girlfriend going alone.

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.

She testified against Wesolek during his trial in May and was expected to testify again in October had Sherrie Dicus' case gone before a jury.

Sabrina Dicus pleaded guilty last year in exchange for testifying against her mother and ex-boyfriend. Her next hearing date is Sept. 22.

She faces up to 30 years in prison.

Acevedo said she is counting on the judge to hand Sherrie Dicus a life sentence.

"It would be very disappointing if she gets anything less than life," said Acevedo. "Animals belong in a cage and that's where she belongs, in a cage."


wholt@hernandotoday.com (352) 544-5283
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