WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — After Ronald Gamble beat his girlfriend so severely that she died last December, he then drove to Orlando for the weekend before returning to South Florida and calling 911, police said.
Gamble, 48, of Orlando, was arrested last week in connection with the fatal beating of his 52-year-old girlfriend, Rochelle Demmings. He was booked into the main Palm Beach County jail Wednesday and appeared before a judge Thursday morning to face a charge of second-degree murder.
According to a West Palm Beach police report, Gamble returned from Orlando on Dec. 16 and found his girlfriend dead inside her home at the Grand Isles condominiums on Haverhill Road.
Gamble told police that he had gotten into an argument with Demmings three days earlier and left for Orlando. Upon his return, Gamble said, he found her body and called police.
During an interview with Detective Darrin MacCarthy, Gamble claimed he got into a fight with Demmings after picking her up from work on Dec. 13. Gamble said he was walking away when she slapped him in the face, so he retaliated.
"I'm not gonna lie -- I hit her," Gamble told MacCarthy, according to the report.
Gamble went on to say that he "might have hit her head really hard."
According to the report, Gamble explained that he might have hit her 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. She determined the manner of death to be a homicide.
Gamble was apprehended in Orlando and transferred to the main Palm Beach County jail, where he was being held without bond.