Pastor and new wife fatally shot by woman’s ex-husband week after wedding: police

The late newlyweds, Kerlande and Marcelline Racine.
The late newlyweds, Kerlande and Marcelline Racine. | Screenshot/WPTV

A week after celebrating their new life together as husband and wife, a Florida pastor and his new bride were shot dead outside their home on Saturday by the woman’s ex-husband.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the murder of the couple, identified by family members as Kerlande and Marcelline Racine, occurred in West Palm Beach at approximately 8:36 a.m. on Saturday. Their bodies were found on the sidewalk outside their home where authorities pronounced them dead according to police.

The woman’s ex-husband, who has been identified as 46-year-old Sony Josaphat of Palm Beach County, has been arrested for the murders, WPTV said. During his first court appearance Sunday to answer the charges, he was ordered to remain in custody in the Palm Beach County jail until his next court date at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2024. 

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An arrest report cited by WPTV shows that Josaphat initially fled the scene after the alleged murders but later turned himself in to local police. He admitted "he had just killed" the couple and their children had witnessed the act.

Sony Josaphat, 46, of Palm Beach County, Fla., has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder.
Sony Josaphat, 46, of Palm Beach County, Fla., has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder. | Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Marcelline’s sister, who asked not to be identified, told WPTV that since her 45-year-old sister got married on her birthday, Dec. 2, "She has never been as happy as she was now.” Court records show that Josaphat and Marcelline had only finalized their divorce on Nov. 22.

Detectives learned from those who knew the couple that even though Josaphat had not lived at the home in more than a year, he “randomly shows up from time to time and has a history of being controlling."

One witness stated that the pastor and his new wife were outdoors on Saturday morning. He was installing exterior cameras while she was getting groceries from her car. The suspect reportedly drove up and parked his car across the street from the home then walked south through the yard. He allegedly then greeted the couple and "after a few moments, Sony pulled out a pistol and shot" them.

Marcelline and Josaphat’s adult daughter reportedly called 911, stating that her father shot her mother and stepfather. Josaphat told detectives that he was in a state of anger after learning that his ex-wife had remarried on her birthday and she "has been disrespecting him and blocked his calls."

He alleges that he had gone to the home to take his daughter to breakfast that morning but, "He said anger took over him."

"Sony said he knew what he did was wrong and has never done anything like this," the arrest report states.

Marcelline’s sister confirmed with WPTV that her sister, who moved from Haiti 25 years ago, was a nurse practitioner, and her husband was a pastor.

Josaphat told police that since he learned of his ex-wife’s remarriage he had not been able to sleep and was "filled him with anger," the report said. 

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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