Expert Testifies in Xbox Slayings Case
ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida – Blood from three of six people who were beaten to death, allegedly over an Xbox video game system, was found on boots belonging to the man charged with organizing the revenge killing, a DNA expert testified Tuesday.
Emily Booth Varan, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigator, said she used DNA tests to determine that a pair of boots had been worn by Troy Victorino, who along with two other men is charged with murder.
Further DNA tests showed blood on the boots came from Erin Belanger, Anthony Vega and Francisco Ayo-Roman, three of the victims in the slayings in a Deltona home on Aug. 6, 2004, she said.
Victorino, 29, and Michael Salas and Jerone Hunter, both 20, are charged with six counts of first-degree murder, five counts of mutilating a dead human body and other felonies. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.
Investigators said Victorino became angry when Belanger took his Xbox and some clothing from her grandparents' vacant home, where he had been squatting. A group of people later entered a house where the victims lived, stabbed them and clubbed them with baseball bats.
A detective testified Monday that Salas and Hunter had admitted hitting some of the victims with baseball bats.
A fourth defendant, Robert Cannon, 20, pleaded guilty in October to all charges. But when he took the stand last week, he refused to testify and said he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea because he was innocent.