State to seek death penalty for man accused of killing roommate over PlayStation

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office said Friday that it has asked Facebook to provide access to Instagram Direct messages sent between two men and their former roommate, whom they are accused of killing over a stolen PlayStation.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Prosecutors want to seek the death penalty for one of the men accused of luring his former roommate to an apartment and killing him over a stolen PlayStation.

Jake Bilotta, 22, was charged in November in the death of 24-year-old Joshua Barnes. Seminole County sheriff's deputies said Bilotta and 21-year-old Ian McClurg lured Barnes to an apartment in unincorporated Maitland on Nov. 26.

According to deputies, Bilotta and McClurg believed Barnes, their recently evicted former roommate, returned to the home to steal a PlayStation console. The suspects lured him to the home by telling him they were having a party and stabbed him to death, deputies said.

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As the two were about to wrap the victim in plastic bags to dispose of the body, deputies said the pair's new roommate returned with a Tinder date and discovered what happened. That roommate fled and called 911, deputies said.

The newly filed paperwork seeking the death penalty against Bilotta said prosecutors believe that Bilotta alone stabbed Barnes, while McClurg "abandoned the plan and did not participate."

McClurg is charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder, tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

Prosecutors said the murder was "especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel," and that it was "committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner," according to the notice that seeks the death penalty for Bilotta.

In January, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said it was asking Facebook to provide access to Instagram Direct messages sent between Bilotta, McClurg and Barnes.

Bilotta and McClurg remain in the Seminole County Jail. The next time they are scheduled to appear in court is March 6.

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