VOLUSIA COUNT, Florida (WESH) — Two of the four men convicted in the 2004 Deltona mass murders are back in a Volusia County courtroom for resentencing.
A jury convicted Troy Victorino, Jerone Hunter and others to death. However, a judge reversed these sentences as the jury’s recommendations were not unanimous.
That’s what the prosecution wanted.
The new law permits juries to vote 8-4 to recommend death, but the Judge Randall Rowe who presided over the hearing ruled the hearing had started before the law was passed and therefore the jury would have to unanimously recommend death.
“They thought about it, intended to do it, killed 6 innocent victims,” prosecutor Andrew Urbanek said.
The killers entered the house in Telford Lane with metal bats, knives, and Anthony Vega. Erin Belanger was murdered, as were Michelle Nathan, Francisco Ayo Roman and Roberto Gonzalez.
The dog was stomped. It’s a massacre so horrific, there was blood evidence in every room.
When Hunter suggested wearing a mask, Victorino, the ringleader of the gang, had a chilling response.
“Victorino told them that would not be necessary because they were not leaving any evidence behind and no one alive,” Urbanek said.
Victorino had been squatting in the Telford Lane house and was evicted by the owner’s granddaughter, Belanger.
He was angry she hadn’t returned some of his property, including an X-box game.
The murders have often been called the “Xbox killings.”
Victorino Hunter Michael Salas Robert Cannon were all convicted of murder.
Victorino & Hunter received death sentences, while Salas & Cannon were given life sentences.
In 2017, the death sentence was overturned, but now the state wants a jury again to decide on this ultimate punishment.
“The evidence you will hear and you will see what two men are capable of doing to others, it will be hard to digest,” Urbanek said.
Despite Florida’s new 8-4 jury death recommendation law, Rowe has ruled the jury can’t rely on that.
The recommendation for the death penalty must be unanimous or else the killers convicted of murder will be sentenced life in prison without parole.
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