Convicted rapist Michael A. Dodele had been free just 35 days when sheriff’s deputies found him dead last month in his aging, tan mobile home, his chest and left side punctured with stab wounds.
Officers quickly arrested Dodele’s neighbor, 29-year-old construction worker Ivan Garcia Oliver, who made "incriminating comments, essentially admitting to his attacking Dodele," the Lake County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Prosecutors said they have investigated the possibility that the slaying of Dodele, 67, stemmed from his having been listed on the state’s Megan’s Law database of sex offenders. If so, his death may be the first in the state to result from such a listing, experts said.
Oliver pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, burglary and elder abuse when he was arraigned Nov. 30.
In a jailhouse interview Wednesday night, Oliver said he has a son who was molested in the past, and he took action to protect the child.
"Society may see the action I took as unacceptable in the eyes of ‘normal’ people," Oliver said. "I felt that by not taking evasive action as a father in the right direction, I might as well have taken my child to some swamp filled with alligators and had them tear him to pieces. It’s no different."
Although Oliver did not say he killed Dodele, he said that "any father in my position, with moral, home, family values, wouldn’t have done any different. At the end of the day, what are we as parents? Protectors, caregivers, nurturers."
Now, this wasn’t a revenge killing. The father wasn’t getting back at Dodele because Dodele molested his kid. In fact, as the article continues, Dodele wasn’t a child molester at all. Rather,
"He was convicted of other bad things, but nothing involving a minor," said Richard F. Hinchcliff, chief deputy district attorney for Lake County. But "it would be easy to understand why someone might think so looking at the website."
Dodele’s crimes involved sexual assaults on adult women, records show.
Now, Dodele certainly is a bad egg, and I’m not promoting him as a model citizen. But this is a good example of what happens when we allow citizens to act in the place of the law. They get it wrong.