Wednesday, November 29

Orlando man convicted of lesser manslaughter offense in death of girlfriend in 2019

A 52-year-old Orlando man was found guilty of manslaughter instead of second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend in 2019.

On Thursday, the jury convicted Ronald Gamble of the lesser offense in the death of 52-year-old Rochelle Demmings. Circuit Court Judge Daliah Weiss ordered sentencing for 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach.

The charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

After Gamble beat his girlfriend so severely that she died inside her home at the Grand Isles condominiums on Haverhill Road, he then drove to Orlando on Dec. 13, 2019, before returning to South Florida and calling 911 three days later, police said.

Gamble was arrested five months later on May 19, 2020.

He was extradited from the Orange County Jail to the Palm Beach County Jail.

Gamble told police that he had gotten into an argument with Demmings and left for Orlando. Upon his return, Gamble said, he found her body and called police.

“I’m not gonna lie — I hit her,” Gamble told Detective Darren MacCarthy, according to the report.

According to the report, Gamble explained that he might have hit her head twice, “but I know I hit her really hard because I hurt my hand.”

When asked if he could have hit Demmings hard enough to kill her, Gamble answered, “It was not my intention.”

MacCarthy said the front door was locked, all of Demmings’ belongings were inside and there was no evidence of any forced entry.

After performing an autopsy, Palm Beach County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Wendolyn Sneed, ruled that Demmings died of blunt force trauma.

He admitted to manslaughter before jurors even began deliberating.

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