Sotka held on $2 million bond for Green Bay double-murder

The prosecutor argued Richard Sotka has a violent history
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 4:15 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2023 at 6:58 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The suspect in Green Bay’s double homicide last month made his first appearance in Brown County court Monday.

Richard Sotka is accused of killing Rhonda Cegelski, 58, of Green Bay, and Paula O’Connor, 53, of Bellevue. He’s charged with two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, two counts of Felony Bail Jumping, Criminal Damage to Property, and two counts of Misdemeanor Bail Jumping.

His bond was set at $2 million cash and will be back in court on February 22 for a preliminary hearing, when he can hear the State’s evidence against him.

Prosecutors brought up Sotka’s violent history at Monday’s hearing.

“I believe in one of the 2002 files he broke her leg and cracked her skull. Those were the statements the defendant made when asked about prior record,” Kevin Greene of the Brown County District Attorney’s Office said.

Cegelski and O’Connor were found dead inside Cegelski’s duplex on Elkay Lane on January 29.

A witness told investigators Sotka had been dating one of the victims, making him a person of interest.

Detectives learned Sotka was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device for an open stalking case in Oconto County. ADL pulled up GPS location records which placed Sotka at Cegelski’s home. The ankle monitor’s last location was off Interstate 41, where detectives found it in a ditch.

Officers then tracked Sotka through his vehicle’s onboard data system, which found him in Arkansas. He was pulled over, arrested without incident, and held in the Mississippi County (Ark.) Detention Center.

According to the criminal complaint, Green Bay detectives interviewed Sotka at the detention center, and he told investigators he’d recently moved into Cegelski’s home on Elkay Lane, but he’d become jealous of his girlfriend and her friend and felt “humiliated” by them. He said when Celegelski asked him to get out of the house he “just snapped.”

He said he was drunk at the time of the killings and had taken two Adderall that day.

Sotka spent a week in the jail in Arkansas before being extradited back to Brown County. He was booked into the Brown County Jail on Saturday.

Richard Sotka made his first court appearance on the two murder charges.