I am 42 years old. When I was a young kid, I went to Orlo Vista Elementary School in Orlando for kindergarten and first grade. While I was there, so was a teacher named Delores Laster.
The truth is, I don’t remember Mrs. Laster at all; in fact, I don’t even know for sure that her last name was Laster during that time span. I only know that our time at Orlo Vista overlapped based on the chronology of the articles I’ve read about her.
Tonight, Mrs. Laster sits in jail for murdering her husband 21 years ago. The arrest happened last week, and she’s about to lose her job.
That’s right, as of this moment she is still employed – because she has not been found guilty. Innocent until proven guilty … I get that. But because she’s jailed, she is considered to be abandoning her position, and she has only one more personal day – tomorrow – before proceedings can begin to remove her from her job.
This, by the way, is not Mrs. Laster’s first brush with the law. In 1994, she was arrested in Altamonte Springs, FL for strong-arm robbery at a local Kmart store. Seems she was caught shoplifting cosmetics and children’s toys – and she opted to attack the store security guard when he attempted to apprehend her.
She was fired from her position then, but she pleaded no contest to attempted robbery and received only probation, and because the judge withheld adjudication of guilt she was not considered a convicted felon – and thus had to be hired back.
The school system then transferred her from Orlo Vista to Dillard Street Elementary, the school where she worked until being arrested.
Back to the murder arrest … detectives say she shot her husband, Clarence, in the head more than two decades ago. Police have recently re-interviewed people close to the investigation, including the couple’s three adopted children. They would not reveal why they’ve decided to go ahead with the arrest after all these years.
On March 20, 1988, Mrs. Laster called 911 to report that she’d come home from a trip to Gainesville to find her husband shot to death. They found him in the garage, but also found blood in the master bedroom. They also saw no evidence of any break-in.
It looks bad for Mrs. Laster, but she is, as I said before, innocent until proven guilty. For her sake, though, I hope she has a really good defense attorney.
The only thing I see that she has going for her is that there must be some sort of doubt; otherwise, why would they have taken this long to make the arrest.
No matter what you think, it’s a real shame that such a long and seemingly distinguished career has gone down the toilet like this.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that courtroom …