In the final day of the prosecution of three men prosecutors say are responsible for killing six people in a dispute over an Xbox video game system, the state showed jurors grisly autopsy photographs of bloodied and bruised bodies.
Medical Examiner Thomas Beaver testified that all the victims died from blows to their heads, which caused severe, multiple skull fractures and brain injuries. The injuries were consistent with being beaten by bats, he said.
"It is the kind of injuries you see in high-speed motor-vehicle accidents," he said.
Although most of the victims had stab and cutting wounds, Beaver said the majority of those came after death. Most victims also had defensive wounds on their hands and arms, Beaver said.
As Beaver testified about the wounds on Erin Belanger, her father, Bill, removed his glasses and shielded his face.
Beaver was the final prosecution witness before the state rested its case.
Troy Victorino, 29, is charged with organizing the crimes because he sought revenge after Belanger, 22, had him and some others removed from her grandmother's house where he was squatting. He felt disrespected after Belanger kept his Xbox video game system and some clothing, prosecutors said.
Late Wednesday, Victorino took the stand in his own defense, and calmly and politely testified not only that did he not kill the victims, but that he never owned an Xbox.
"It's my testimony that I'm innocent and I was not at the crime scene," Victorino said.
Victorino testified he was drinking with friends at a bar in Deltona at least 2 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2004, before returning home and going to bed. Investigators think the two women and four men were killed about 1 a.m.
He said he and Belanger had an agreement.
"She asked me if I wanted it, and I said no," Victorino said. "It came down to, 'Where am going to put it?' I said, 'Can I get it when I need it?' She said, 'I'm going to ask my grandmother. We'll just leave it there until she comes back.'"
Victorino's defense will be followed by those of Jerone Hunter and Michael Salas, both 20.
The three are charged with six counts of first-degree murder, five counts of mutilation of a dead body and other felonies. If they are convicted, prosecutors will seek the death penalty.
Killed were Belanger; Michelle Nathan, 19; Francisco Ayo-Roman, 30; Anthony Vega, 34; Roberto Gonzalez, 28, and Jonathan Gleason, 17. Most of the victims worked at Burger King in Deltona.
A fourth defendant, Robert Cannon, 20, pleaded guilty in October to all the charges. But when he took the stand last week, he refused to testify and said he wanted to withdraw his plea. He said he was innocent.
- July 18, 2006: State: Victims' Blood On Defendant's Bat, Boots
- July 17, 2006: Investigator: 2 Defendants Admit Beating 6 People Who Were Killed
- July 14, 2006: Judge Denies Mistrial In Xbox Slaying Case
- July 13, 2006: Star Witness In Alleged Xbox Slayings 'Can Say No More'
- July 12, 2006: Prosecutor Details 6 Grisly Slayings In 'Xbox Murder Trial'
- July 5, 2006: St. Johns Jurors Being Chosen To Hear Xbox Murder Trial
- April 10, 2006: Judge Rules Suspect In Deltona Slayings Competent To Stand Trial
- April 10, 2006: Trial Of Six In 'X-Box' Murders Starts Today
- March 2, 2006: Judge Says Deltona Slayings Trial Will Remain In Volusia County
- March 24, 2005: Judge Seals Crime Scene, Autopsy Photos From Deltona Massacre
- February 21, 2005: Accused Ringleader In Deltona Slayings Says He Was Passed Out
- January 7, 2005: Witness In Deltona Slayings Says He Wants to Testify At Trial
- September 29, 2004: Deltona House Where 6 Were Killed Is Up For Sale
- September 14, 2004: Last Of 4 Accused In Deltona Slayings Pleads Not Guilty
- August 9, 2004: Men Accused In Brutal Slayings Denied Bond
- August 7, 2004: Six People Found Dead In Deltona Home