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Florida Man Allegedly Hired Hit on Teen Girl Who Accused Him of Sexually Assaulting Her
Lenard White and two others have been charged with murder for hire and other crimes after a teen who accused him of sexual assault was shot to death.
Three Florida men have been charged in a murder-for-hire plot against a teenager who accused one of them of sexually assaulting her.
On February 6, a 17-year-old went to the Hernando County Sherrif’s Office with her mother to report that she had been sexually assaulted by Lenard White, 36, the Department of Justice stated Thursday. The teen — who the Hernando County School District identified to NBC-affiliated Tampa station WFLA as high school junior Isabella Angelina Scavelli, and is referred to in the DOJ's indictment release at I.S. — was fatally shot at her home the next day.
She succumbed to four gunshot wounds, while her mother was shot but survived
What have Lenard White, Sheldon Robinson and Keshawn Woods been charged with?
White, along with Sheldon Robinson, 21, and Keshawn Woods, 22, were arrested on a slew of charges in connection to Scavelli’s death, including conspiracy to commit murder for hire, murder for hire, 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. Additionally, White and Robinson were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, tampering with a witness, and obstruction of justice.
According to investigators, White gave Robinson $10,000 to kill the 17-year-old. Robinson then allegedly asked for help on social media for a “clean-up job” in exchange for $5,000 and cocaine, to which Woods responded, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said during a press conference Thursday.
On February 7, Robinson and Woods knocked on the door to the teen's residence, according to the DOJ. When the girl opened it, the two men allegedly opened fire on her and her mother.
Isabella Angelina Scavelli was shot in the back while running for cover, authorities believe
“The bullet that caused her death entered her lower left back area suggesting she was shot in the back as she was trying to run for cover,” United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Roger B. Handberg said during the press conference.
The sheriff’s department, along with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched a months-long investigation that uncovered the alleged murder plot.
During Thursday’s press conference, Nienhuis said investigators found a red Nike shoe at the site of the shooting that matched a shoe in the getaway car Woods and Robinson allegedly used.
In a search of Woods’ residence, police found a gun, illegal drugs and roughly $4,000 in cash, which they believed was a share of the $10,000 that White allegedly paid Robinson.
A recent search warrant on Robinson’s property revealed a gun hidden in the backyard that matched the ballistics of the firearm used to kill the teen and injure her mother.
Robinson’s mother, 44-year-old Janet Williams, has been charged with several counts of making false statements to federal agents. She made her initial appearance in court on October 26 and is now on house arrest.
Woods appeared in court November 1 and was ordered detained. White and Robinson are currently in state custody pending their initial court appearance on November 9.
According to the DOJ, if convicted on all counts, the three men each face life in prison, or the federal death penalty.
“She was a good kid with a very bright future and to see her life cut short was heart-wrenching to say the least,” Nienhuis said of Scavelli at the press conference. "I know all of my people... took this case very personally and took it with a passion."
A statement from Hernando High School obtained by the Tampa Bay Times said, “Isabella was part of the HHS tennis team and Student Government. She is described by her teachers as an energetic, kind and a joyful student.”