A 48-year-old Wisconsin man accused of brutally murdering his girlfriend and another woman, reportedly because he was “humiliated” when he walked in on the two of them having sex, will likely not be getting out of jail anytime soon after a judge set his bond at more than $2 million, records show.
Richard Wendell Sotka was extradited back to Wisconsin from Arkansas on Saturday and appeared in Brown County Circuit Court for a bond hearing Monday on multiple felony charges in the deaths of Rhonda Cegelski, 58, and Paula O’Connor, 53. He is facing two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of felony bail jumping, two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping, and one count of criminal damage to property.
Brown County Court Commissioner Paul E. Burke set Sotka’s bond at $2,015,000, records show.
During the hearing, prosecutors with the Brown County District Attorney’s Office argued that Sotka has a history of violence that makes him a danger to the community, should he be released, according to footage of the proceeding from Green Bay ABC affiliate WBAY-TV.
“I believe in one of the 2002 files, the defendant stated that he broke the victim’s leg and apparently cracked her skull,” Assistant DA Kevin Greene said. “Those were the statements the defendant made when asked about his prior record.”
As previously reported by Law&Crime, police found the two victims dead inside a duplex on the morning of Jan. 29 and quickly sought Sotka, who was dating one of the women, as a person of interest.
Sotka was out on bond from a separate case in Oconto County where he is charged with stalking and harassment/violating a restraining order and was required to wear a GPS ankle monitor. But he allegedly cut the monitoring device from his leg and ditched it along Interstate 41, Green Bay Fox affiliate WLUK-TV reported.
Sotka was apprehended approximately 10 hours after the victims’ bodies were discovered, authorities in Mississippi County, Arkansas, said.
A criminal complaint obtained by WLUK reportedly states that after his arrest, Sotka allegedly confessed that he was responsible for killing the two women in Green Bay but adamantly denied the stalking charges.
Sotka reportedly told authorities that when he walked into the duplex and found his girlfriend engaged in sexual activity with her friend he felt “humiliated.”
“He said he asked [Cegelski] where he was supposed to go and at that point he said he lost it, he just lost it. He said he couldn’t tell [police] details or tell [police] exactly what happened but he knows he completely lost it,” the complaint reportedly states. “[Sotka] stated, ‘I’m guilty of killing these girls but I’m not guilty of what they said I did in Oconto County.”
The complaint also reportedly noted that despite cutting off his GPS ankle monitor, police were able to locate Sotka in Arkansas using the OnStar system in his truck.
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