66ºF

5 young people could face death penalty in Homestead machete death of 17-year-old

Body of Jose Santos Amaya Guardado, 17, found in wooded area behind vocational school

An 18-year-old girl accused in the death of a classmate at the Homestead Jobs Corps center appeared in court Friday where she was appointed new counsel.
An 18-year-old girl accused in the death of a classmate at the Homestead Jobs Corps center appeared in court Friday where she was appointed new counsel.

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Five people have been indicted in the machete murder of a 17-year-old and could now face the death penalty.

The body of Jose Santos Amaya Guardado, who was hacked to death with a machete, was found partially buried in a wooded area behind Homestead Job Corps in Homestead.

Desiray Strickland, 18, Kareem Arbelo, 20, Jonathan Lucas, 18, Christian Colon, 19, and Joseph Michael Cabrera, who are all former students of the vocational school, were charged with first-degree murder, according to the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney.

The group is accused of plotting to kill Guardado for weeks before executing the plan on June 28.

A motive for the attack remains unclear, but a police source said the victim had been bullied before by the group and that Guardado may have owed Arbelo money.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10