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Zoomie
09-22-2006, 07:41 PM
Judge gives 2 killers death sentences in Deltona massacre

Troy Victorino and Jerone Hunter face lethal injection.

Kristen Reed and Ludmilla Lelis
Sentinel Staff Writers

September 22, 2006

DAYTONA BEACH -- As Jerone Hunter shuffled into the packed courtroom, the father of one of his victims let out a soft murmur:

"Dead man walking," Bill Belanger said to his wife. About two hours later, Belanger had a message for Troy Victorino.

"Bye. Dig a hole," Belanger said, waving toward the door as Victorino was led from the courtroom, a condemned man. With his face red from sobbing, Belanger let out a huge sigh.

After two years and an exhausting trial, he and the other relatives of the six victims in one of Florida's most brutal mass murders finally heard what they had been waiting for: Two of the men who used bats to pulverize the skulls and knives to slash the throats of Belanger's 22-year-old daughter, Erin, and five of her friends were sentenced Thursday to die by lethal injection.

Circuit Judge William A. Parsons agreed with the jury's death-penalty recommendation and called the killings "conscienceless" and "unnecessarily torturous."

"You have not only forfeited your right to live among us, you have forfeited your right to live at all," he told each of the men during back-to-back sentencing hearings.

As Victorino heard his death sentence, Pam Belanger sat in the courtroom, tissue in hand, thinking about two loved ones: her daughter Erin and her mother, Norma Reidy, who died last month.

Reidy's winter home on Providence Boulevard, where Victorino and Hunter had stayed illegally, became the catalyst for the brutal murders, and Erin was the primary target for Victorino's revenge.

"I just thought of my daughter and mother . . . and how happy they'd be," she said. "It gave me a lot of peace."

Pam Belanger smiled, closed her eyes and placed her hand on her heart. She meditated for a moment and nodded yes.

"I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can breathe now," she said.

Michael Salas, 20, and Robert Anthony Cannon, 20, also were convicted in the Deltona massacre and were sentenced to prison for life without the possibility of parole.

Hunter, 20, once a star athlete described as a well-mannered student, will become the youngest man on Florida's death row. He and Victorino, 29, a violent felon who was described by teenage girls in his circle of young friends as a "big teddy bear," will join 376 other condemned killers.

Patty Gleason, whose son Jonathan was the youngest victim, found little comfort in the finality of the sentence.

"That's all it is, is a sentence," she said. "I would be happy if it were swift."

The average stay on Florida's death row is nearly 13 years.

Tina Gonzalez, whose son Roberto was staying over at the home the night of the attack, said she felt justice was served.

Early Thursday she and her husband watched the sunrise in Daytona Beach and wrote their son's name in the sand.

"Its colors and the beauty of it let us know T. [Tito] was with us," she said. "Just as the sea goes all over the world I know my son, no matter where we go, will always be with us."

Although a jury last month recommended Hunter and Victorino should die, the judge was required to do his own analysis of the evidence and aggravating and mitigating factors.

He read his lengthy findings during the hearings, detailing the "mayhem" of the killings and the legal justification for the death sentences.

Gleason, whose son Jonathan had been at the Telford Lane house just a few nights, had not read, seen or heard the details of her son's death until Thursday. The judge described how the aspiring actor and musician had begged for his life and was clubbed in the head at least three times.

Gleason sobbed into a tissue as Bill Belanger hugged her.

"It was horrible," she said afterward. "You don't want to hear how your son was murdered."

Parsons painted a vivid picture of what happened early Aug. 6, 2004, when the four men burst into the home wielding aluminum baseball bats and knives.

"The victims were brutalized to the extent that their blood was all over the house. It was on the floor, it was on the walls, it was on the ceilings and the blood had been extracted by the avengers with great force and brutality," the judge said. "With the force exerted and the swinging of bats, the victims, as long as they were conscious, were going through a living hell."

The judge said it was obvious Victorino and Hunter were there to get back "relatively insignificant personal property" including an Xbox video-game system, clothing and some documents. He said Victorino, who towered over the other three defendants, orchestrated the attack.

While Parsons gave many of the aggravators "significant" or "moderate" weight, many mitigating factors garnered "very little" weight. Victorino had presented evidence of a brain defect and a history of emotional and physical abuse and hospitalizations. Hunter's doctors testified he likely suffered from schizophrenia and often spoke with his dead twin brother.

"This court agrees with the jury's recommendation that in weighing the aggravating circumstances against the mitigating circumstances, the scales of life and death tilt unquestioningly to the side of death," he said to each of them, who showed no reaction in court. "May God have mercy on your soul."
Source (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-vmassacre22_806sep22,0,3395041.story)
I'm glad the judge went through with the death sentance for these two, but I think the others definatly deserved death for what horrors they commited.

pascalywood
09-22-2006, 07:56 PM
lethal injection is too soft for them. beat them to death with baseball bats instead

2Sheds_Jackson
09-22-2006, 10:16 PM
The average stay on Florida's death row is nearly 13 years.

That's a disgrace.

Hunterhr
09-22-2006, 10:44 PM
It's not so bad. Hell, in California they'll all be dead of natural causes before they're executed.

Grumpy Bastard
09-23-2006, 09:55 AM
It's good thing they weren't after a 360....... damn xbox.

This just reinforces a low opinion of the human species.

Good work by the Judge.

VOD
09-24-2006, 06:41 AM
woot

Let the heads roll!