A former University of Maine football player faces up to life in prison after a Florida jury convicted him Wednesday of murdering a man and attacking his former girlfriend.

Zedric Joseph, 26, was convicted of first-degree murder in a violent knife attack in West Palm Beach on March 7, 2014, in which he killed 23-year-old Ricardy Chery, according to Palm Beach County Court documents.

Joseph was also convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for attacking his former girlfriend Vashti Laurore. The jury also found Joseph guilty of burglary while armed.

Judge John Kastrenakes has scheduled a hearing for Friday to determine when Joseph will be sentenced.

Laurore told police she and Chery were in the bedroom of her locked apartment when Joseph broke through the bedroom door armed with a knife. He immediately and without provocation began stabbing Chery, according to a police affidavit filed in the case. Joseph then told the victim he was going to die and was going to “learn.”

Joseph ordered Laurore and Chery to get down on their knees, and then he began kicking Chery in the abdomen and spitting on him. Laurore begged Joseph to stop, but he put the knife against her throat and told her she was going to “die today,” according to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s report.


Laurore grabbed the knife and tried to pull it away, but Joseph cut her severely in the thumb and palm of her left hand before he left, police said.

Chery and Laurore were taken to the hospital, where Chery was pronounced dead after suffering severe stab wounds.

Joseph was found several days later in Georgia, about 500 miles north of West Palm Beach.

Laurore and Joseph had been in a relationship for about five years and had one child together.

In 2012, Joseph was accused of attacking Laurore while they lived together in Orono with their daughter and her son from a prior relationship. UMaine police arrested Joseph on charges of domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening and misdemeanor assault on Dec. 17, 2012, after Laurore told officers Joseph tried to strangle her twice and threatened to kill her in a jealous rage.

Joseph took a plea bargain on a disorderly conduct charge, for which he spent 48 hours in jail. He also was suspended from the school and the football team on an interim basis after the 2012 incident, according to UMaine officials. He returned to the football field the next season.

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