Two of the men charged with murdering six people in a revenge slaying over an Xbox video game system testified Thursday that they hit some of victims with baseball bats, but denied inflicting the fatal blows.
Jerone Hunter and Michael Salas, both 20, told jurors they participated in the attacks, but did not hit any of the victims in the head.
Their testimony followed that of Troy Victorino, 29, who was believed to ringleader in the Deltona attacks. Victorino testified Wednesday that he was at a bar with friends when the slayings occurred in August 2004.
Blood from three of the victims was found on Victorino's boots, a DNA expert testified this week.
Bootprints also linked Victorino to the crime scene. Salas and Hunter previously told authorities that they had beaten some of the victims.
Salas, whose voice sometimes broke with emotion during testimony, denied responsibility for the killings.
"I did not kill anybody in that house. I didn't hit anybody in the head. I did not hit anybody in the face. I'm not guilty. I had no blood on me," Salas said.
He said Victorino and Hunter were the real killers, and that Hunter even bragged about it.
Both Hunter and Salas testified they didn't kill anyone and that they were intimidated by Victorino, a 6-foot-7, 270-pound former prison inmate with a violent criminal record. Hunter said he feared Victorino might harm him or his family if he was betrayed.
"He told me and Cannon, 'Y'all two just keep your mouth shut. You call the man on me, and I'm going to take you out the game,'" Salas said.
State Attorney John Tanner repeatedly asked Salas why he didn't leave when he learned of the slaying plans.
"If I didn't help him, he would probably hurt me, too," Salas said.
"Hunter, a star wrestler in high school, said he did not know they were going to the Deltona house to kill the victims, two of whom he knew. He said he thought they were picking up the Xbox and other items the defendants left when they were evicted from being squatters in another home belonging to Erin Belanger's grandmother.
Victorino kicked in the front door of the house, where Belanger and the five other victims were, Hunter said.
Hunter entered the house yelling, "Where's my stuff?" When victim Jonathan Gleason, 17, replied, "I don't know." Hunter then allegedly started swinging, he said.
Victorino came up from behind and hit Gleason on top of his head with a bat. Victorino was the only attacker who went into a bedroom where Belanger, 22, and her boyfriend, Francisco Ayo-Roman, 30, were sleeping, Hunter testified.
They died from multiple strikes to their heads and Belanger was sexually mutilated, autopsies found.
Hunter said he saw defendant Robert Anthony Cannon, also 20, fighting with victim Anthony Vega, who was armed with a stick.
He testified that Hunter struck Vega in the shoulder with a bat, causing him to drop the stick. Cannon and Victorino then hit Vega, Hunter said.
While Hunter denied killing anyone, Salas said Hunter beat victim Roberto Gonzalez, 28, with a baseball bat.