Arrest made in fatal shooting of teenager in Deltona

Markland Roberts arrested on manslaughter charge

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – An arrest has been made in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Xyrus Zelaya, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting happened at a house party on Waterview Drive in Deltona in late October, according to deputies.

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The sheriff’s office said Markland Roberts, 43, of Deltona, is facing charges of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter with a gun.

At 12:05 a.m. on Nov. 1, deputies said investigators were called to Halifax Health in Deltona after hospital staff reported a gunshot victim was brought to the facility and a second victim was brought to Central Florida Regional Hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.

Deputies said Zelaya died from his injuries at Halifax Health. The 17-year-old at Central Florida Regional Hospital suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, according to deputies.

Roberts turned himself in and bonded out of jail Wednesday night, a move that outraged Zelaya’s family. His family would also like to see Roberts charged for murder, not manslaughter.

“A grown man killed a 16-year-old child and he’s out on bond right now, being able to spend time with his family and enjoy his time hanging out with his family, while my entire family is in grief and pain trying to get over what he’s done,” said Malakai Joseph, Zelaya’s cousin.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood calls it a complicated case.

“There were over 50 witnesses. I can’t tell you the number of subpoenas that had to be issued,” he said.

He said Roberts is using Stand Your Ground as a defense for what happened.

“We don’t believe that the words that were uttered and a bottle being thrown results into somebody firing blindly and indiscriminately into a a car and I think that’s where you get the manslaughter charge because you’re negligent and you’re reckless in causing the death of another with a fire arm,” Chitwood said.

Joseph said his cousin was a great role model for everyone.

“He was a great role model, even for older people,” Joseph said of his cousin. “I’m his older cousin and I saw him as a great role model. This kid -- he did every sport, he helped out everybody, he worked, he spent time with his girlfriend, his parents and was always a family person.”

A candelight vigil for Zelaya will be held Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at Wes Crile Park in Deltona.