ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Three men were convicted of murder Tuesday in the slayings of six people who authorities said were bludgeoned with baseball bats in a dispute over an Xbox video game system.
The jury will return later in the week to decide whether the men should receive life in prison or death by lethal injection. Jurors deliberated about six hours before returning its verdict against Troy Victorino, 29, and Michael Salas and Jerone Hunter, both 20.
Prosecutors said Victorino was angry with victim Erin Belanger, 22, who had him evicted when she found him living in her grandmother's home in Deltona. She kept some of his belongings, including some clothing and the video game system. Victorino had no reaction as the verdict was read. Salas dropped his head as the first count was read.
During closing arguments, defense attorneys tried to shift the blame from their clients. Attorneys for Hunter and Salas said their clients were intimidated by the 6-foot-7-inch, 270-pound Victorino, and wouldn't have entered the house if they had not been threatened and coerced.
Salas and Hunter testified that they hit some of the victims, but they denied inflicting any fatal blows.
"Victorino is kind of a Charles Manson," said Hunter attorney Frank Bankowitz. "He had power over them. He could tell them what do. He could tell them when to be, where to be, how to be."
News source: Yahoo