Wisconsin Man Who Killed Girlfriend, Her Best Friend After Walking in on Them Getting Intimate with Each Other

Richard Sotka Jr.,Rhonda Cegelski, and Paula O'Connor
Richard Sotka Jr.,Rhonda Cegelski, and Paula O'Connor Twitter

A 49-year-old Wisconsin man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his girlfriend and her best friend, stabbing them both to death in a jealous rage afterhe saw them being intimate and felt "humiliated."

Brown County Circuit Court Judge Beau Liegeois on Monday ordered Richard Wendell Sotka to serve the maximum penalty for all counts, including two consecutive life sentences without the chance for parole for the 2023 slayings of Rhonda Cegelski, 58, and Paula O'Connor, 53, according to court records obtained by Law & Crime show. Sotka was dating Cegelski at the time of he killings.

A jury last month deliberated for only an hour before finding Sotka guilty on two counts of first-degree murder with a dangerous weapon, five counts of jumping bail, and one count of criminal damage to property. One of the murder charges also included a domestic abuse modifier. In addition to prison, Sotka is also required to pay $16,000 in restitution.

Rhonda Cegelski, and Paula O'Connor
Paula O'Connor and Rhonda Cegelski. Twitter

As previously reported, Cegelski and O'Connor were good friends who worked together as hairstylists. On the morning of Jan. 29, 2023, Cegelski and O'Connor were found dead in the residence where Cegelski lived with Sotka. Cegelski's daughter and a friend contacted police after they walked in and found O'Connor dead, with a knife in her neck.

At the time Sotka killed the two women, he was out on bond for charges in three cases in Oconto County related to stalking, violating a restraining order, domestic abuse battery and disorderly conduct.

Richard Sotka Jr.
Richard Sotka Jr. Twitter

Investigators tracked Sotka's GPS monitor, which he was required to wear as part of his bond conditions in the Oconto County cases. Sotka's GPS showed movements consistent with the time of the murders in the early hours of Jan 29, 2023.

Sotka was driving a truck that belonged to his employer, which had its own location tracking abilities. Law enforcement found Sotka was driving in Arkansas, and local law enforcement in Arkansas arrested him. Sotka had a passport and $4,000 in cash on him at the time of his arrest.

In a police interview after his arrest, Sotka admitted to killing Cegelski and O'Connor. He said the three of them were at the house drinking heavily, and he "just snapped" after getting jealous and humiliated when he saw the two women getting intimate.