The Xbox Murders: Men Convicted After Killing Spree Ensues Over 'Stolen' Game System

Dennis Faas's picture

In 2004, four men broke into the house of a 22-year-old Erin Belanger and proceeded to beat her, five of her friends, and the family dog to death with baseball bats.

The cause: a "stolen" Microsoft Xbox video game system.

The verdict: conviction.

Two years later, three of the four men -- Troy Victorino, Michael Salas, and Jerone Hunter -- have finally been convicted. The fourth -- Robert Cannon -- awaits a separate trial after withdrawing his guilty plea. (Source: - 1 and 2)

Victorino, Salas, and Jerone will face either life in prison or death by lethal injection. (Source:

Prosecutors stated that Troy Victorino was upset with Erin Belanger because she kept some of his personal belongings after evicting him from her grandmother's home. The Xbox and a few pieces of clothing were Victorino's main bones of contention.

The only reason Hunter and Salas entered the house in the first place, according to their attorneys, is because the imposing 6'7, 270 pound Victorino intimidated, threatened, and coerced them into it.

"Victorino is kind of a Charles Manson," claimed Jerone Hunter's attorney, Frank Bankowitz. "He had power over them. He could tell them what do. He could tell them when to be, where to be, how to be."

In court, Salas and Hunter admitted to hitting some of the victims, but they denied inflicting any fatal blows.

"Their defense is: it's all Troy's fault," Victorino's attorney Jeff Dowdy said, clearly disgusted. "This is feeding frenzy, blame everything on Troy."

State Attorney John Tanner disputed the claims that Hunter and Salas were scared of Victorino.

Victorino flat out denied being in the house on the night of the murders and said that he wasn't angry at Belanger. However, DNA extracted from the bloody boots and prints found at the scene of the crime proved otherwise. (Source:

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