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XBox Murders Ringleader Victorino Closer to Execution as He Loses Supreme Court Appeal

| October 11, 2013

troy victorino xbox murders deltona 2004

Troy Victorino then and now.

in the summer of 2006, Troy Victorino was convicted of six counts of first-degree murder and numerous other charges, including the abuse of a dead human body and sentenced to death for leading the killings of six young people at a Deltona home in 2004–what became known as the Xbox murders, because Victorino was upset that his Xbox had been removed from a house he and friends were squatting in.

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Jerone Hunter, now 26, was also sentenced to death. Accomplices Robert Anthony Cannon and Michael Salas, both 27, were sentenced to life in prison. The victims were Erin Belanger, Roberto Gonzalez, Michelle Nathan, Anthony Vega, Jonathon Gleason and Francisco Ayo-Roman. Victorino committed the murders despite a probation violation that should have had him back in jail. The lapse in the system led to legislative changes in the law regulating the probation of violent offenders.

Victorino, 36, has been appealing his conviction since, losing at every step. On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled against his latest appeal, rejecting his claim that he received poor legal representation, or that his trial attorney erred when he did not call for a mistrial after Cannon, who testified against Victorino, refused to be cross-examined.

“Cannon’s comments implicating Victorino were brief and unelaborated,” the Supreme Court opinion said. “While Cannon was on the stand for some time, only a few lines of testimony were harmful to Victorino. Cannon testified that Victorino intended to harm the residents of the Telford Lane home but did not testify that Victorino actually inflicted any blows. Further, except for Cannon’s statement that he was intimidated by Victorino, each of the incriminating points made by Cannon was established by other evidence that is not the subject of a postconviction challenge. As a result, Cannon’s testimony was not essential to the state’s case against Victorino. Rather, when considered in this context, Victorino’s case is similar to other first-degree murder cases in which this court has affirmed the denial or motions for mistrial that were based on a witness testifying that the defendant was violent or dangerous.”

The grisly murders were traced back to a succession of events that began on July 30, 2004, a Friday, and that were summarized in court records. Belanger contacted police concerning suspicious activity at her grandmother’s vacant house on Providence Boulevard in Deltona on July 30. Without the owner’s permission, Victorino and Jerone Hunter had recently moved into the home with their belongings. Belanger again contacted police the next day to report that several items were missing from her grandmother’s house.

Late that night, Victorino appeared at Belanger’s own home on Telford Lane. He demanded the return of his belongings, which he believed Belanger had taken from the Providence Boulevard residence. Shortly after leaving Belanger’s residence early on the morning of Sunday, August 1, Victorino contacted law enforcement to report the theft of his belongings from the Providence Boulevard residence. The responding officer advised Victorino that he had to provide a list of the stolen property. This angered Victorino, and he said, “I’ll take care of this myself.”

A short time later, Victorino met Brandon Graham, Robert Anthony Cannon and Michael Salas, who were in Cannon’s Ford Expedition. Hunter and several women were also in the SUV. Victorino told them that Belanger and the other occupants of the Telford Lane house had stolen his belongings and that he wanted them to go fight Belanger and the others. They all went in the SUV to the Telford Lane residence. While Victorino remained in the SUV, the women went into the residence armed with knives. The young men stood outside holding baseball bats, and Hunter yelled for the occupants to come out and fight. The group left in Cannon’s SUV, however, after one of the victims yelled “policia.”

The following morning, Thursday, August 5, Graham, Salas, and Cannon met with Victorino and Hunter at their residence. There, Victorino outlined a plan to get his belongings from Belanger. Victorino spoke of a movie he’d seen, “Wonderland,” in which a group carrying lead pipes ran into a home and beat the occupants to death. (The 2003 movie is based on the so-called Wonderland Murders of four people that took place in 1981 in Los Angeles. The murder weapons were lead pipes.)

Victorino said he would do the same thing at the Telford Lane house. He asked Graham, Salas and Cannon if they “were down for it” and said to Hunter, “I know you’re down for it” because Hunter had belongings stolen as well. All agreed with Victorino’s plan. Victorino described the layout of the Telford Lane residence and who would go where. Victorino said that he particularly wanted to “kill Flaco,” and told the group: “You got to beat the bitches bad.” Graham described Victorino as “calm, cool-headed.” Hunter asked if they should wear masks; Victorino responded, “No, because we’re not gonna leave any evidence. We’re gonna kill them all.”

Around midnight on Aug. 5, a witness saw Victorino, Salas, Cannon, and Hunter near the murder scene on Telford Lane. Cannon testified for the state at trial that he and Salas went because they were afraid Victorino would kill them if they did not. He said he, Victorino, Hunter, and Salas entered the victims’ home on the night of the murders armed with baseball bats.

On the morning of Friday, August 6, Christopher Carol, a co-worker of two of the victims, discovered the six bodies at the Belanger house and called 911. The victims in various rooms had been beaten to death with baseball bats and had sustained cuts to their throats, most of which were inflicted postmortem. Belanger also sustained postmortem lacerations through her vagina up to the abdominal cavity of her body, the result of trauma from a baseball bat. The medical examiner determined that most of the victims had defensive wounds.

The front door had been kicked in with such force that it broke the deadbolt lock and left a footwear impression on the door. Footwear impressions were also recovered from two playing cards, a bed sheet, and a pay stub. All of these impressions were linked to Victorino’s Lugz boots. DNA testing linked bloodstains on Victorino’s Lugz boots to several of the victims. A dead dachshund, a knife handle, and a bloody knife blade were also recovered from the crime scene.

At trial, Victorino testified in his own defense, claiming Belanger had taken his property from the Providence Boulevard residence. He denied meeting Graham, Cannon, or Salas at his home on August 5, testifying instead that he was at work. He also denied committing the murders and offered an alibi—that he was at a nightclub on the night of the murders. Two friends testified on behalf of Victorino and corroborated his alibi. Hunter and Salas also testified in their defense. Each described his role in the murders and corroborated the other testimony and evidence offered at trial, including the evidence of the meeting at which Victorino planned the murders and the agreement to participate. They testified that Victorino attempted to establish an alibi by making an appearance at the nightclub.

Victorino is currently being held at Union prison in Raiford.

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10 Responses for “XBox Murders Ringleader Victorino Closer to Execution as He Loses Supreme Court Appeal”

  1. A.S.F. says:

    Even though the pictures provided are not the best, you can look in this guy’s eyes and see that there is nothing….There is nothing there…A sad waste of a human life. I am so sorry for the families of these victims.

  2. Charles Gardner says:

    Lapse in the system. Imagine that.

  3. Geezer says:

    As much as I hate the death penalty – I’ll be glad when this POS is euthanized.
    But his death will be easier than his victims’ deaths. He pulverized their heads,
    (he and his cohorts) with aluminum bats. It was so bad that they couldn’t be identified.
    Even their pet dog was beaten worse than the ugliest road-kill you can recall..

    An electric chair set at a lower amperage (to make it a lengthy affair) would be a better
    ending for this tall stack of turds. Yep, turds can be stacked over six feet, six inches.

    I had nightmares after reading about the X-Box murders.
    I’ve been a light sleeper since.

    Burn in Hell Troy. Extra crispy.

    • sadness says:

      I hate to even say I knew these monsters. I can’t wait until they all die and rot in hell. I really hope no judge ever over turns his convictions, but with the brutality of this whole thing…I don’t think any judge or court will be stupid enough to keep this man alive and let him get a lighter sentence

  4. Silas says:

    A brutal crime that makes Truman Capote’s book, “In Cold Blood” appear less morbid.

  5. Howard Duley says:

    The comment right after Geezer about the low amperage electric chair is absolutely brilliant. Thank you whoever you are.

  6. ryan says:

    Although I am a Liberal, not a Progressive, because I am realistic, I agree with the death penalty for people who commit the depraved and heinous crimes like this. In fact, I wish it would be extended to child molestors as well as there is no help or cure for them. Appeals should only be for those who are pleading their innocence. If only the perps rights advocates did not outnumber the victims’ rights advocates these days, so much money would not be wasted on worthless appeals.

    In countries who have no death penalty, its abolition is the first step to ending life in prison, so that people like the Nazi Norway shooter, Hans Breivik, will be out in 21 years, and it could end up like California, where people like Charles Manson have a chance at a parole hearing, which is beyond me. Only if life in prison with no parole ever, should we end the death penalty. If you want to truly stop innocent people from being railroaded, pressure on the media to cover prosecutorial abuse or power and the disallowing of evidence that could have cleared an innocent person is the better solution.

  7. Donald says:

    I hope they do overturn their conviction. Then we can kill them sooner instead of wasting tax dollars.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully they won’t go quickly and will suffer a bit

  9. Lisa says:

    Today May 7, 2017 I watched on ID the story of this cause, it was never about an Xbox , it was about pride, by now it’s been 10 years his was sentenced to death , it’s time that he be put to death, he is a monster, he was on probation and he committed this crime, two of them receive the death penalty and still today they are on death row .. no they don’t deserve to live , they deserve to feel the countdown to the last minute of breath that they take and die. Had his probation officer arrested him into thousand and four a week before the murders, those six people today will still be alive, in 2007 it became a law that you can be taken into custody while reporting to your probation officer, because of this incident , The formal probation officer and three supervisors were fire because of this case . Sadly someone always has to die in order to create new laws to protect others… it’s time to put both of them to death, specially him ..

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