Sex offender with violent history arrested in beating death of wife in Conway neighborhood

By Susan Jacobson

May 14, 2012

June Royer was trying to be nice when she let Guillermo Cardona, his wife and their baby daughter stay in her house.

The family was living in a truck at the time, and Cardona, 44, promised to do odd jobs for Royer.

On Friday, Royer, 75, was shocked to find police at the door of her home in the Conway neighborhood of Orange County. Shock turned to horror when emergency workers kicked in the bedroom that Cardona and his wife, Jennifer, shared and found the 25-year-old mother dead.

Cardona, who is known as Willie, remained in jail without bail Monday on charges of second-degree murder and domestic battery. He called 911 Friday evening and told a dispatcher he thought his wife was dead because he had hit her and kicked her in the stomach, records show.

“I’ll go back in that room and I’ll always think of it,” Royer said Saturday. “It’s awful.”

Royer said the couple spent most of their time in the bedroom. Cardona, she said, told her they wanted privacy.

Royer said she once heard banging on the wall, but she is hard of hearing and thought little of it. Royer’s grown son, who also lives with her, told her he heard the couple fighting often, but neither of them intervened or called the police.

On Friday about 4:15 a.m., Royer’s son awoke her and said, “They’re fighting again,” she said.

It’s possible that the fatal blows were delivered then, according to a sheriff’s report. Cardona told investigators that his wife was in pain and could not keep liquids down after he kicked her. He fell asleep, awoke to find that she was not breathing, panicked and left the house, the report states.

About 7:30 p.m. as Royer prepared dinner, she looked outside and saw the flashing lights of police cars and firetrucks that were responding to Cardona’s 911 call.

Cardona left their daughter, who Royer said is 7 months old, with his sister about 7 p.m. He returned to Royer’s house about 10 p.m. and was taken into custody by Orange County sheriff’s detectives.

Cardona is a registered sex offender convicted in 1998 in Lake County of having sex with two 13-year-old girls and a 15-year-old. He spent time in prison in the early 1990s for aggravated assault, criminal mischief, burglary and a false-imprisonment case involving his first wife.

Source: Orlando Sentinel