A former University of Maine football player was sentenced last week to life in prison for murdering a man and attacking his former girlfriend.

Zedric Joseph, 26, was issued a life sentence on Thursday by Judge John Kastrenakes in Palm Beach County Court, according to the court’s website.

Joseph had been convicted by a Florida jury on March 29 for first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and burglary while armed. He has not filed an appeal.

The charges stem from a violent knife attack in West Palm Beach on March 7, 2014, in which he killed 23-year-old Ricardy Chery and injured his former girlfriend, Vashti Laurore.

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 began stabbing Chery and 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 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 County 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.

Laurore and Joseph had been in a relationship for about five years and had a 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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