5 teens indicted in slaying

Published: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 11:40 p.m.
BRONSON - A Levy County grand jury indicted five teenagers Thursday for murder in the shooting death of Jacob H. Langworthy earlier this month.
Langworthy, 18, was found inside his home on Jan. 5 by a relative. Langworthy had been shot once in the back of the head and died the next day.
During the investigation into the shooting, several items were reported missing from Langworthy's home, near the intersection of U.S. 121 and E. Levy Street.
Those named in Thursday's indictment were Williston High School students who were charged as adults within days of the murder and have been held in local jails ever since. They are Berny Serrano, 17, the only suspect initially charged with murder; and four teenagers initially charged with home invasion robbery with a firearm: Kenny Samuel Gross, 18; Michael A. Hill, 18; Courtney Rashad Grant, 16; and Theophilus Devon Lee, 16. They all live in the Williston area.
The charges against all five suspects in the indictment were: first-degree murder while armed with a firearm; conspiracy to commit home invasion robbery while armed with a firearm; and home invasion robbery while armed with a firearm.
"It was always our intention to submit this case to a grand jury for consideration on what charges should be filed," State Attorney Bill Cervone said.
He also said he has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty for Serrano, who is accused of firing the gun.
Levy County Sheriff's Office investigators have said the teens planned to go to Langworthy's home to rob him of drugs and money. The group called Langworthy's house before going there to make sure he was home. Serrano allegedly showed the other four the gun he was carrying to Langworthy's, investigators said.
Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Chuck Bastak has said that once the five suspects got into Langworthy's house, they did not find drugs and money and instead took items like CDs, a cell phone and an Xbox controller. Investigators said they believe Serrano was the last of the suspects to leave the house and fired a shot at close-range at the back of Langworthy's head just before walking out the door.
Some of Langworthy's relatives were in the courtroom when the indictment was handed down, but left without commenting on the case.
After accepting the indictment, Levy County Judge Joe Smith ordered all five suspects held without bond on the murder charge.
Serrano had only been enrolled at Williston High for a few months. He moved to the area from New York with his parents.
The others indicted in the case had lived in the Williston area most of their lives and were best known as athletes. High school seniors Gross and Hill were listed on the Williston football team roster. Grant, a junior, was listed on the football and basketball team rosters, and Lee, a sophomore, was listed as a basketball player.
While in jail awaiting trial, the suspects are entitled to continue receiving an education, according to Levy County Schools Superintendent Cliff Norris.
"This applies to anyone," Norris said. "If someone is of school age and enrolled in school and housed in any facility in a county, then that county is responsible for their education."
Langworthy had attended Williston High but was working in the mobile home setup business when he was killed.
Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or voylesk@ gvillesun.com.

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