Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Deaf Man Sentenced to Life in Slaying; He Pleads No Contest in Death of Woman Who Also Was Deaf

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Deaf Man Sentenced to Life in Slaying; He Pleads No Contest in Death of Woman Who Also Was Deaf

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN LEWIS

ST. AUGUSTINE -- A deaf man accused of fatally stabbing a deaf St. Augustine woman then pouring bleach on her and on the crime scene in 2002 was sentenced to life in prison Friday after pleading no contest to first-degree murder.

Joshua Wolfe, 25, of Jacksonville Beach was facing the death penalty in the killing of Carmen Reyes. The victim, a 26-year-old native of Puerto Rico, was found by her brother on Oct. 16, 2002, in her home on Del Monte Drive near St. Augustine High School. She bled to death several days earlier after suffering stab wounds to the neck.

A review of court records Monday showed Wolfe claimed to have been engaged in a secret affair with Reyes. St. Johns County investigators found him after being tipped off by another woman who said Wolfe told her he was going to murder Reyes.

When questioned by detective Howard Cole at the Sheriff's Office on Oct. 25, 2002, Wolfe at first denied involvement in the slaying. A few hours later Cole told him he had evidence that suggested Reyes was killed on a Saturday night while Wolfe was at her home.

"J. Wolfe hung his head and began to cry," Cole wrote in his report.

Wolfe had appeared at Reyes' home while she was cleaning in her kitchen. He told the detective they had sex in the living room and in her bedroom. Wolfe claimed to have fallen asleep in her bed, blacking out and waking up inexplicably in the living room.

"He later stated he blacked out, and when he woke up, he saw the blood and found Carmen in her bedroom floor with her pants off," Cole wrote. "He said he thought, 'What have I done? No one was there but me.' "

E-mails in the court records revealed the way news of the killing swept through the deaf community in St. Augustine, home of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. …

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