The News-Review will be counting down its top 10 biggest stories of the year. Coming in at number 10 is a homicide at the Budget Host Inn East End.
A 45-year-old homeless man is awaiting trial after allegedly killing his girlfriend during a sex romp at the Budget Host Inn East End in Riverside last May.
Douglas Rico was arrested May 7, two days after cleaning staff discovered the lifeless body of his girlfriend, Henrietta Sholl, on a bed at the trouble-plagued motel, located near the traffic circle in Riverside.
According to Mr. Rico’s statement to police, he may have caused Ms. Sholl’s death when he placed a pillow over her head while performing oral sex on her.
“I had sex with Henrietta and put a pillow over her head,” the statement reads. “I must’ve made her stop breathing. I am sorry.”
But Mr. Rico’s lawyer Dan Russo said the pair were celebrating Ms. Sholl’s recent release from prison and she suffered a heart attack during the incident.
The arrest was not Mr. Rico’s first run-in with the law. Court records show he had been arrested on drug charges in Brooklyn in December 2011.
Ms. Sholl had legal and personal problems of her own. She had been living in Mastic when she was arrested at the Kohl’s shopping center in nearby Shirley for shoplifting last November, according to police and her former landlord. She had been released from county jail April 14 after pleading guilty to petit larceny and serving a 90-day term.
Mr. Rico’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 19.