Man fatally stabbed in revenge plot over stolen PlayStation identified, deputies say

Victim's former roommates face first-degree murder charges

Deputies have identified the man who they say was fatally stabbed because his former roommates suspected him of stealing a PlayStation.

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday said Joshua Barnes, 24, was found dead Monday night at a home in unincorporated Maitland.

Authorities said Barnes lived at the home on South Boulevard for about two weeks with 21-year-old Ian McClurg and 22-year-old Jake Bilotta but he had been evicted about two weeks' prior to his death. McClurg told deputies that Barnes had not paid his rent on time, records show.

Bilotta and McClurg were upset with Barnes because they suspected him of breaking in and stealing a PlayStation, so they devised a plan to lure him back to the home and ambush him, according to Sheriff Dennis Lemma.

Deputies said Bilotta received a screenshot from a conversation between Barnes and another person during which Barnes admitted to taking the PlayStation.

When Barnes arrived, Bilotta stabbed him with a 7-inch kitchen knife while McClurg made sure Barnes was unable to escape, authorities said.

McClurg told deputies that Bilotta stabbed Barnes repeatedly the moment he walked through the door and he heard Barnes yell, "You're killing me," according to the arrest affidavit. He told authorities that he watched as Bilotta checked Barnes' pulse after Barnes fell to the floor, the report said.

Once Bilotta and McClurg were convinced that Barnes had died, they retrieved trash bags from under the kitchen sink so they could take him somewhere to bury him, according to the affidavit.

Deputies said it was while Bilotta and McClurg were putting Barnes' body in a trash bag that another man who lives at the home walked in, knocked the knife out of McClurg's hand then ran back to his vehicle to call 911.

Bilotta and McClurg are both facing first-degree murder charges.

Deputies said McClurg was on probation in connection with a petty theft arrest on Oct. 21 in Altamonte Springs. 

On Wednesday, a judge ordered that both men be held at the Seminole County Jail without bond. They were appointed a public defender and instructed not to have contact with each other.

Neighbors said they were shocked to hear about the crime.

"It’s brutal, it’s shocking and it’s very sad," neighbor Karen Roberts said. "That’s kind of a personal way to go and if it’s really over a PlayStation, that just doesn’t even make sense." 

Roberts said the men who live at the home seemed like nice people.

"I just saw them come and go from the house, they were always quiet, never caused any trouble," Roberts said.  

About the Author:

Adrienne Cutway

Adrienne Cutway joined News 6's digital team in October 2016 to cover breaking news, crime and community interest stories. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and began her journalism career at the Orlando Sentinel.

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