Lenard White, Sheldon Robinson and Keshawn Wood were indicted on charges of murder for hire
Federal authorities charged three Florida men in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot that left a teenager dead in February.
On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced in a press release that Lenard White, 36, Sheldon Robinson, 21, and Keshawn Woods, 22, were indicted on several charges, including murder for hire and conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
In February, authorities said, a 17-year-old victim and her mother went to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to report that the teen was sexually assaulted by White. Prosecutors allege that White then paid Robinson and Woods $10,000 to murder the victim so she wouldn’t pursue further charges.
The girl, who was later identified in reports as Isabella Angelina Scavelli, was shot and killed the next day while opening the door of her home, prosecutors said. Her mother was injured in the shooting but survived.
Authorities allege that Robinson and Woods knocked on Scavelli’s door and started shooting as she opened it.
Also indicted was Robinson’s mother, Janet Williams, who was charged with multiple counts of making false statements to federal agents, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
At a press conference Thursday, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said a search of Williams’ home found $6,000, while the other $4,000 of the money allegedly paid out by White was found in Woods’ home.
“[Williams] was not forthcoming with law enforcement about that money,” Nienhuis said.
In February, the Hernando County School District identified the victim as Scavelli, a junior at Hernando High School, reported WFLA.
“Isabella was part of the HHS tennis team and Student Government,” a spokesperson for the district told WFLA. “She is described by her teachers as an energetic, kind and a joyful student.”
White and Robinson are currently in state custody and await a federal hearing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, while Woods made an appearance in federal court Wednesday and was ordered to be detained. Williams was released on home detention.
In addition to murder for hire, the trio are also charged with discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence which caused death and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime. White and Robinson are also charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, tampering with a witness, and obstruction of justice, federal authorities said.
It’s not clear if any of the defendants have entered pleas to the charges.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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