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Law

Probation officers fired after 'XBox killings'


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Proper probation enforcement may have prevented the slayings.

Sheriff says the slayings were carried out with baseball bats.
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(CNN) -- Florida prison officials fired four probation officers Monday who they said could have prevented the gruesome killings of four men and two women in a rental home in Deltona, Florida, if they had followed proper procedure.

Troy Victorino, 27, and three co-defendants are accused of using aluminum baseball bats and knives to kill the victims in the attack early Friday morning. (Full story)

Authorities said Victorino was angry because he believed his XBox video game system had been stolen.

Victorino, who was on probation for a 1996 violent crime, was arrested on July 29 on charges that he beat up a friend in a dispute over money -- an arrest that should have sounded alarm bells with his probation officers, officials said. He posted $2,500 and was released shortly afterward.

Department of Corrections Secretary Jim Crosby said probation officers were notified of the arrest July 30 and they should have filed a violation of probation report within 48 hours seeking an arrest warrant.

The paperwork wasn't filed until August 6 -- hours after the killings had taken place, Crosby said.

Crosby said Victorino met with his probation officer last Thursday -- the day before the brutal slayings. The officer knew of Victorino's recent arrest but failed to call authorities to arrest him, Crosby said.

"The probation officer failed to ask for or seek a warrant-less arrest," Crosby told reporters. "There is no excuse for this action."

Could the killings have been prevented had the probation officers acted?

"If they had went ahead with a warrant-less arrest and put him in jail and kept him there, yes," Crosby said.

Asked what the probation officers said in their defense, Crosby said, "We did not get a good answer for that."

Victorino and his three co-defendants -- Robert Cannon, Jerone Hunter and Michael Salas, all 18 years old -- made initial court appearances earlier Monday.

The four have been charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary. Authorities have said the three teens confessed to the killings.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson has described the crime scene as "the worst thing that we've ever seen."


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