MAIDEN, N.C. – In yet another travesty of justice, Michael Steven Ricker bonded out of jail after trying to kill his ex-girlfriend’s father, and then killed her mother, according to authorities.
Ricker, 36, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 63-year old Lesa Armstrong Rose, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
The homicide occurred months after Ricker was arrested for reportedly trying to murder his ex-girlfriend’s father by shooting Armstrong Rose’s husband in June. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder, shooting into an occupied dwelling and possession of a firearm by felon. The husband, Teddy Rose, suffered two gunshot wounds, but survived, according to reports.
Initially, Ricker was denied bond on the attempted murder charge, but then it was set at $55,000 for the two additional charges, according to the Hickory Daily Record.
However, he was released on $25,000 bond 12 days after the arrest, WSOC-TV reported.
Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a home on Ginger Lane after receiving reports of a cardiac arrest.
Family members told deputies that Armstrong Rose was found on the floor of a bathroom inside the residence. She suffered impact “wounds not consistent with a natural death,” according to Lincoln County EMS, WSOC-TV reported.
The victim’s “badly beaten” body was discovered in a shared kitchen by the woman’s granddaughter. Law enforcement authorities identified Ricker — who also lived at the location — as a suspect in this case.
Family members reported seeing blunt force trauma injuries. An autopsy is pending.
Deputies arrested Ricker on Sunday. He was in a shed behind the house. He was booked into jail on first-degree murder charges.
Ricker’s ex-girlfriend, Amber Rose, told Fox News Digital that she is upset with a criminal justice system that allowed him to be released from custody before her mother was killed.
“I’m very angry at the justice system, especially since they were out there sooner that day [that her mother was killed] and [police] they didn’t do a whole lot to help, which allowed him to still be out there,” Amber Rose said.
“I think we have a failed justice system – they worry more about the wrong things,” said Amber Rose, who was in a relationship with Ricker for about seven years before things ended. “A bond on attempted murder being that low just… makes you question… what goes through their head when they set the bonds, how they feel at night knowing someone’s life could be on the line because they didn’t do what they needed to do.”
It was Amber Rose’s 17-year-old daughter who discovered her mother badly beaten before Lincoln County emergency services responded to the scene.
“My parents loved him, my daughter loved him, he was part of our family,” Amber Rose said of her now-incarcerated ex-boyfriend, who she said she knew since third grade and only became violent within the past three years. “Now, [my daughter] has seen things that nobody should ever see – she walked into a violent crime scene… My mom was basically like a second mom to her – [now] she’s seen the horrors of somebody taking a loved one away.”
“I didn’t know of him being like this. Like I said, the first couple years it was great, we got along great,” she continued. “He got along with my family great. My family treated him as one of the family members, they treated him no different. A lot of times he told us we treated him better than his own family did.”
Although Armstrong Rose’s cause of death has yet to be determined, Amber Rose said that pronounced injuries could be clearly seen on her mother’s head.
Amber Rose said she is still handling “should’ve’s” and “what-ifs” after that night. Her father, Teddy Rose, is also feeling the survivor’s guilty – he was supposed to take Rose’s mother to the store, but instead packed up his daughter and moved her to his house.
“Me and him both have a lot of guilty in our hearts… what if we stayed?” she said. “We didn’t expect [Ricker] to escalate to this.”
Ricker is being held at the Lincoln County Jail without bond.