Budget Host Inn killer facing seven years after pleading guilty

Douglas Rico, Thomas Spota, Riverside, Budget Host Inn
NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | Douglas Rico (inset) admitted to cops he killed his girlfriend during sex at the Budget Host Inn near the Riverside traffic circle.

A homeless man who admitted to suffocating a homeless woman during sex at the Budget Host Inn in Riverside last year pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in Suffolk County court Wednesday.

Douglas Rico, 46, had been arrested on that charge on May 7, 2011 in connection with the death of 53-year-old Henrietta Sholl.

Mr. Rico had told police in a statement following his arrest for the May 4, 2011 incident, “I had sex with Henrietta and put a pillow over her head. I must’ve made her stop breathing. I am sorry.”

He originally pleaded not guilty to the first-degree manslaughter charge, which is a class B felony that carries a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in jail, but reportedly agreed to plead guilty Wednesday after Judge John Tommey Jr. promised to sentence him to no more than seven years, according to a Newsday report.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office was seeking a 10-year sentence for Mr. Rico, according to Bob Clifford, a DA spokesman.

Ms. Scholl’s lifeless body was discovered on a bed at the hotel by cleaning staff. Ms. Rico told police he had known her for three years. Ms. Scholl had been living at the hotel since her release from jail on April 14, 2011 on a shoplifting charge from the previous November.

[email protected]