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At least if guns were illegal, people wouldn't be beaten to death with baseball bats over video-game systems.

Sheriff: 4 charged in Florida killings over Xbox

Monday, August 9, 2004 Posted: 5:12 AM EDT (0912 GMT)

(CNN) -- Authorities in Deltona, Florida, have arrested and charged four people in the killings of six people in a rental home, Volusia County's sheriff said Sunday.

Sheriff Ben Johnson said the murder was organized by a man who was angry because he believed his Xbox video game system and some clothes had been stolen.

Alleged ringleader Troy Victorino, 27, has not confessed, but three teenagers Johnson said Victorino recruited to assist him have, Johnson said. The three were identified as Robert Cannon, 18; Jerone Hunter, 18; and Michael Salas, 18.

All are charged with first degree murder and armed burglary.

The Associated Press reported that Victorino has a criminal record.

The four killers, armed with aluminum baseball bats, forced their way into the home where the victims were in beds early Friday morning, and beat them to death -- just as Victorino planned, Johnson said.

The victims, four men and two women, also sustained knife wounds, but autopsies showed the blunt force trauma from the bats killed them, the sheriff's office said.

The victims had no chance to arm themselves or fight back, Johnson said. "There was no way they could really defend themselves."

All of the victims experienced severe trauma -- and one body was so badly mangled that it has not yet been officially identified, he said.

"This is the worst thing I've ever seen in my career," Johnson said.

Johnson called for all four to face the death penalty, although that usually is decided by a prosecuting attorney.

Five of the victims were identified as Jonathan Gleason, 18; Roberto Gonzalez, 28; Michelle Nathan, 19; Francisco Roman, 30; and Anthony Vega, 34.

Investigators believe the attack occurred about 1 a.m. Friday. The bodies were found Friday about 6:30 a.m. when a co-worker, alarmed because one of the people failed to show up for work, went to the home and found the blood-spattered crime scene.

Victorino and Hunter were taken in for questioning on Sunday. Hunter confessed, and led authorities to Cannon and Salas, said Johnson.
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