Federal authorities have filed charges against three Florida men, Lenard White (36), Sheldon Robinson (21), and Keshawn Woods (22), for their alleged involvement in a murder-for-hire scheme that resulted in the death of a teenager in February.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced the indictments, which include charges of murder for hire and conspiracy to commit murder for hire, according to a press release issued on Thursday. In February, a 17-year-old girl and her mother reported to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office that the teen had been sexually assaulted by White. Prosecutors contend that White paid Robinson and Woods $10,000 to eliminate the victim in an attempt to prevent further charges.
The following day, the girl, who has since been identified as Isabella Angelina Scavelli, tragically lost her life after being shot while opening her home’s door. Her mother sustained injuries during the incident but managed to survive.
Authorities claim that Robinson and Woods, upon approaching Scavelli’s residence, opened fire as she unlatched the door. Also facing charges is Robinson’s mother, Janet Williams, who has been indicted for multiple counts of providing false statements to federal agents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
During a press conference held on Thursday, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis revealed that a search of Williams’ residence uncovered $6,000, while the remaining $4,000, allegedly provided by White, was found in Woods’ home.
“[Williams] did not fully cooperate with law enforcement regarding the money,” Nienhuis stated. In February, the Hernando County School District confirmed the victim’s identity as Scavelli, a junior at Hernando High School, as reported by WFLA.
According to a district spokesperson cited by WFLA, “Isabella was an active member of the HHS tennis team and served in the Student Government. Her teachers describe her as a lively, kind, and cheerful student.”
White and Robinson are presently in state custody and await a federal hearing, as stated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In contrast, Woods appeared in federal court on Wednesday and was ordered to be held in detention. Williams was released on home detention.
In addition to the charges related to murder for hire, the three individuals are also accused of discharging a firearm during a violent crime leading to death and discharging a firearm in the course of a violent crime. Furthermore, White and Robinson face additional charges, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, tampering with a witness, and obstructing justice, according to federal authorities.