SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A Seminole County judge has denied bond for an woman accused of planning the fatal shooting of her son in their Altamonte Springs home. Virginia Arteaga, 59, made her first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. She's accused of premeditated murder in the death of Blake Howard, 29.
Police arrested Arteaga on Tuesday after responding to a well-being call at a residence inside the gated Oak Harbour condominium complex on Post Oak Circle. It was around noon, when officers said a relative called for help, asking them to stop by the residence.
Sgt. Rob Pelton with the Altamonte Springs Police Department said officers entered the condominium and made contact with Arteaga, who was armed at the time. "She complied with officers' demands to put down the firearm and was taken into custody."
As officers searched the home, they discovered Howard's body. According to a police report, Arteaga shot Howard the day before, around 7:30 a.m., while he was in a bathtub.
According to the report, Arteaga had been struggling with depression and had been contemplating suicide, and when officers forced their way into the residence through a back door, they said she tried to shoot herself, but the gun only clicked. "The noise sounded like a revolver firearm being dry fired," the report states.
Arteaga is presently under suicide watch at the Seminole County Jail, having expressed remorse over the death of her son. "She was distraught and emotional," said public defender Jeff Dowdy. "Clearly remorseful and saddened by the events."
Howard worked at a landscaping company in Orlando and attended Seminole State College. He was pursuing an Associate in Arts degree.