Budget Host Inn killer sentenced to six years in prison

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 in 2011 was sentenced to six years in prison Monday, according to online court records.

Douglas Rico, 46, had been arrested on a first-degree manslaughter charge on May 7, 2011 in connection with the death of 53-year-old Henrietta Sholl. He pleaded guilty to that charge in October.

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 after Judge John Tommey Jr. promised to sentence him to no more than seven years, according to a Newsday report in October. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office was seeking a 10-year sentence for Mr. Rico, DA spokesman Bob Clifford told the News-Review in October.

Ms. Scholl’s lifeless body was discovered on a bed at the hotel by cleaning staff. Mr. 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.