tampabay.com

Man who renounced Xbox plea gets life

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published August 29, 2006


DAYTONA BEACH - A judge sentenced a 20-year-old man to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Monday, denying his request to withdraw a guilty plea in the slayings of six people over an Xbox video game system.

Robert Anthony Cannon said in court that his attorney told him he had no chance in trial, and would get the death penalty if he did not plead guilty and testify against three others in the baseball bat attacks. He now maintains he is innocent. He surprised the court last month as the trial opened by refusing to testify.

Circuit Judge Bill Parsons said Cannon had plenty of chances to change his plea before trial.

Even without Cannon's testimony, a jury in July convicted Troy Victorino, 29, Jerone Hunter, 20, and Michael Salas, 20, of first-degree murder in the deaths in a Deltona house. Victorino was accused of organizing the attack because a girl who lived there had his Xbox and other belongings taken from another house, belonging to her grandparents, which Victorino had entered illegally and where he lived for a while without permission.

The judge is considering the jury's recommendation of death sentences for Victorino and Hunter. He previously sentenced Salas to life in prison without the possibility of parole, which the jury recommended.

On Monday, Hunter's attorneys and family members pleaded for his life, saying he suffers from borderline schizophrenia. Parsons will decide his fate Sept. 21. A presentencing hearing for Victorino is scheduled Friday.