A home invasion or drug deal gone bad?

Published July 19, 2006

TAMPA - No matter what brought Adelb Schulterbrandt and his friends to a secluded double-wide mobile home the night of July 24, 2005, their trip didn't end as planned.

A gunfight and brawl described by one attorney as "a cross between a wrestling match and a scene from The Wild West" left three residents of an Odessa home seriously hurt and one unwelcome guest with a fatal wound from his own friend's gun.

Jurors must decide this week: Did the bloody scene result from a home invasion or a drug deal gone bad?

Their decision will guide the fate of Schulterbrandt, 24, who is on trial for felony murder and a host of other charges stemming from the incident. He faces life in prison.

Assistant State Attorney Terryn Burnett said in her opening statement Tuesday that Schulterbrandt, Shareen Akil Samuel, Cecil Alfonso Huggins and a fourth unidentified man burst into the home of strangers, looking for money.

A fight ensued. During it, Samuel fired his gun at one of the home's occupants, 27-year-old Robert Kirkendall, the prosecutor said. The bullet hit Kirkendall before traveling into Huggins' buttocks.

Meantime, Burnett said, Schulterbrandt fired multiple rounds from a gun at Kirkendall's father, 50-year-old Richard Kirkendall.

Another son, 24-year-old Kenny Kirkendall, was stabbed and shot in the melee.

Schulterbrandt escaped from the home through a bathroom window, while the other three men fled by car. They left Huggins at St. Joseph's Hospital, where he died.

Because Huggins' death appears to have occurred as the result of a robbery, prosecutors charged Schulterbrandt and Samuel with felony murder. Samuel has pleaded not guilty and has not yet gone to trial.

But Assistant Public Defender Jim Siegfreid told jurors Tuesday that Schulterbrandt didn't go to the Kirkendalls' home to rob it.

Siegfreid said the men were summoned there by Kenny Kirkendall, whom they had paid $1,100 for drugs that he had not yet provided.

"He was invited in," Siegfreid said of Schulterbrandt.

Attorneys on both sides acknowledged that detectives found cocaine and marijuana inside the Kirkendalls' home, which the family refused to let them search without a warrant.

A 911 tape played for jurors highlighted the chaos of the scene that unfolded inside the home.

"There's blood everywhere!" a woman wailed hysterically. "Oh, God!"

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at (813) 226-3337 or cjenkins@sptimes.com.