Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Article published Jun 13, 2007
Jun 13, 2007
The Associated Press
A Central Florida woman told her 19-year-old son that she loved him and would stand by him after he was arrested for killing her husband. But now authorities think she is the real killer and framed her son for the crime.
Rhonda Marie Sands' husband, Everette Lema, 50, was found stabbed to death on May 2, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Prosecutors have dropped a murder charge against Sands' son, DeShane Sands. He was arrested the day after the killing, based largely on reports from his mother.
While in custody, authorities recorded a phone call between the mother and son, according to court records.
"I love you, Shane, and I'm gonna be here for you," Rhonda Sands said during the call.
But two neighbors told authorities that Rhonda Sands confessed to killing her husband to them, according to court records.
And while DeShane Sands initially refused to talk to authorities, on June 1 he told them he was innocent and suspected his mother was the killer.
DeShane Sands also had an alibi. His girlfriend said he was at her house the night of the slaying, according to court records.
A Sheriff's Office spokesman would not answer questions about the case Tuesday, saying it was still under investigation.
On Monday, a judge ordered DeShane Sands released, but he remained in the Seminole County Jail Tuesday evening. He was awaiting transfer to the Orange County Jail, where he was charged of violating the terms of probation in an unrelated case.
Rhonda Sands, 43, was being held without bond Tuesday night in the Seminole County Jail on a first-degree murder charge.
Information from: Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com