Deputies: At Least 5 Teens Beat Homeless Man

Published On: Oct 14 2011 02:30:22 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 01 2005 10:20:25 AM EDT

Volusia County sheriff's deputies believe at least five teens participated in the slaying of a homeless man who was apparently beaten to death because the group was bored and needed something to do.

Christopher Scamahorn, 14, and Jeffery Spurgeon II, 18, were charged with first-degree murder Sunday after confessing to kicking and beating the 53-year-old victim with their fists and sticks, said sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught.

Police discovered the body of Michael Roberts, 53, (pictured, left) after a woman called 911 saying some boys had told her daughter they had killed a homeless man and left him in the woods.

"She called me this morning and told me that these friends in the neighborhood were saying that they killed this guy Wednesday night and they wanted her to come see the body and she didn't want to go," the woman told WKMG-TV in Orlando. "She was scared."

The victim had defensive wounds on his hands and arms and his clothes were soaked with blood when officers found his body Saturday, according to court records.

The teens told investigators that they went into woods where they had a fort and killed the man in a series of four attacks.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said the teens had a mob mentality and admitted they killed Roberts for fun.

Jeffery Spurgeon II said he punched the man in the face and left. The pair returned a short time later and kicked the man and beat him with sticks, Haught said. Scamahorn also told investigators that he dropped a large log on the man's ribs, and Spurgeon jumped on the log several times.

Chad Halfhill, 16, who called himself a close friend of Scamahorn, said a group of eight to 12 teens picked on a man they came across in the woods about 55 miles northeast of Orlando.

Scamahorn "told me the day they did it. He said they beat him real bad. He said, 'Hey, you want to go see him?' And I was like, 'No, I'm cool,"' Halfhill told the Orlando Sentinel. "We'd just hang out. We'd never say, 'Hey, let's go kill someone."'

Shea Miller, 17, who lives across the street from Scamahorn, said they were friends until his neighbor started getting in trouble.

"That group, they got into a couple fights," Miller said. "I never thought they would kill somebody."

Scamahorn attended Riverview Learning Center, an alternative school for students with disciplinary problems.

Spurgeon said his son recently dropped out of Mainland High School and worked with him on a roofing job Thursday and Friday. He unsuccessfully tried to talk his son into joining the military.

Jeffery Spurgeon II was being held without bail at the branch jail in Daytona Beach, and Scamahorn was booked into a juvenile jail.

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