DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (TCD) -- A 35-year-old woman faces murder and other charges after she allegedly stabbed her 80-year-old roommate to death, tried to hide evidence, and attacked officers arresting her.
Volusia County court records show Nichole Maks was charged Aug. 16 with one count of first-degree murder and arson of a dwelling. She was previously charged in July with tampering with physical evidence and resisting an officer with violence.
According to Maks' affidavit, on Saturday, July 1, at 1:46 a.m., someone waved down a Daytona Beach Police Department sergeant due to a house fire at a residence on Clark Street. Police and fire personnel arrived at the scene, and when firefighters got in the home, they found a man with blunt force trauma injuries to the back of his head and stab wounds to his torso. Paramedics pronounced the victim, 80-year-old Michael Cerasoli, deceased.
After firefighters extinguished the blaze, detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and found a bloody knife near Cerasoli’s body and blood near Maks' room. Detectives also discovered two cellphones in the room; one was plugged in and placed on the bed, while the other was on a windowsill with a knife on it. Investigators learned the phone on the bed was Cerasoli’s and the other belonged to Maks.
Maks wasn’t home when the police and fire departments got there. A detective located her at about 3:30 a.m. standing near a restaurant without shoes on. She allegedly was still holding a knife and hammer, which she dropped when the detective ordered her to.
According to the affidavit, Maks had blood on her body and shirt.
When speaking with detectives, Maks allegedly changed her story multiple times and said she had been homeless for about four years. She claimed she had gone to the hospital earlier that day because she had a panic attack while running on a treadmill. She reportedly denied knowing Cerasoli, then admitted she lived with him.
The affidavit says Maks "admitted she was at the residence with the Victim then changed her story multiple times on when she and the Victim were together. Maks admits she is not homeless and resides at the residence with the Victim."
Maks allegedly said she never went into Cerasoli’s room, but she "goes upstairs to feed her spiders."
She then allegedly claimed Cerasoli picked her up from the hospital, and no one else was at their home the day of the killing.
When the detective asked Maks why she had a knife and hammer in her possession, she reportedly "denied carrying these items and then charged her story and admitted she carries a knife, but she retrieved the hammer from her closet tonight."
Officers escorted her to the patrol car and informed her they would take her DNA after obtaining a warrant for it. Maks "requested a drink," and an officer handed her a Diet Mountain Dew. She allegedly "began to procrastinate while drinking the soft drink," and when the officer tried to take the can away, she "began to resist and began pouring the can of soda all over her body and hair and pulling away from officers in attempts to interfere with the possible evidence on Maks' body."
She allegedly "began pulling and kicking officers while [they were] trying to secure Maks in the vehicle."
Forensic reports showed Maks' DNA on the handle of the knife found in Cerasoli’s room, and his DNA was on the blade.
Court records show a mental exam was ordered Aug. 14.