NEWS - Sunday, August 8, 2004

Xbox Theft Prompts Mass Murder

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A man who was angry about a suspected theft recruited three teenagers to stab and beat six people to death with baseball bats in a Florida home, investigators said Sunday after making four arrests. Remains of the six victims — four men and two women — were found Friday in the blood-spattered home. All four suspects have been charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary, the Volusia County sheriff’s department said. All of the victims had been stabbed, but autopsies determined the cause of death was the beating injuries. Troy Victorino (search), 27, of Deltona was identified as the ringleader. Also arrested were Robert Cannon, 18, of Orange City, Jerone Hunter, 18, of Deltona and Michael Salas, 18, of Deltona. "Officials struggling to come up with a motive for the crime believe the killings were committed over the theft of some clothes and an Xbox game system owned by Victorino," who has a criminal record for assault, a statement from the sheriff’s office said. The bodies were discovered in a three-bedroom home in Deltona (search), about 25 miles north of Orlando, after one victim’s co-worker at Burger King called a friend and asked the person to visit the home because the victim had not arrived for work, officials said. The sheriff’s office on Saturday identified the victims as Michelle Ann Nathan, 19; Anthony Vega, 34; Roberto "Tito" Gonzalez, 28, of New York; Francisco Ayo Roman, 30; and Jonathan Gleason, 18. Authorities had not yet positively identified the sixth victim by late Saturday. The killing spree in the working-class, bedroom community of more than 70,000 people was the deadliest in Florida since 1990, when a man whose car was repossessed shot eight people to death at a Jacksonville loan office before turning the gun on himself.


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