The stories that Rocio Nickaury Morcelo’s family members told Monday at her killer’s sentencing were brutal: a devoted mother who suffered years of domestic abuse and violence, from an obsessive lover.
Martire P. Fulcar, 32, of Wheaton used knives and his fists, in the words of a Montgomery County judge, to “intimidate, abuse, and torture” Morcelo, who was 37 when she died last year.
Dressed in a black shirt and tan pants, flanked by the prosecutors and a victim’s advocate, Morcelo’s mother said that her daughter’s death weighed heavily on their family.
“He didn’t just kill my daughter, but the entire family,” Miledys Paulino said, through an interpreter.
On Monday, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl A. McCally sentenced Fulcar, or “Omar,” as friends and family called him, to life in prison, suspending all but 55 years.
“I don’t know what demons plague you, but they are significant,” Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl A. McCally said, before imposing the sentence.
After Fulcar and Morcelo had a domestic dispute in September 2012, Fulcar stabbed her 34 times. Besides cuts to her heart and neck, she had defensive wounds on her arms, palms, and fingers, prosecutors said at Fulcar’s guilty plea last month.
When McCally asked him if he had anything to say before his sentence was imposed, Fulcar merely shook his head.
Fulcar fled to Florida after last year’s stabbing, and tried to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of a Miami hotel.
He landed on the roof of a car, cushioning his fall and saving his life, police said.
Online court records show that Fulcar was the subject of several peace orders and protective orders as far back as 2003, but they were later dismissed each time when the person seeking the order failed to appear to testify at a court hearing.
Fulcar’s family members have said he came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was about 18. He had a green card and had last worked for a Chipotle’s restaurant, said Napoleon Puente, one of his brothers.
Besides Fulcar’s and Morcelo’s son, Fulcar had two daughters — one in D.C. and one in the Dominican Republic, Puente said.
“It’s a tragedy both ways,” he said, in an interview. “As family, we loved her. But he’s family too,” Puente said, adding that Fulcar would have to live with his deed for the rest of his life.
He had visited Fulcar the day before the sentencing, he said.
“He seemed OK. Accepting, calm. Talking as usual,” he said.
Ron Gottlieb, Fulcar’s public defender, said Fulcar had shown immediate remorse and by pleading guilty, had accepted responsibility for the crime.
McCally also ordered Fulcar not to have contact with any of Morcelo’s family — including the son he had fathered with her.
“If you set foot [near] or have contact with any one of them I will return you to prison faster than you understand what has happened to you,” she told him.