Headline — 13 June 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
4 life sentences for Belizean Brian Hyde, 22

The trial for his killing spree in Lehigh Acres, Florida, lasted 5 days

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 11, 2018– Brian Omar Hyde, 22, who is a Belizean originally from the Cayo District, was sentenced to four life sentences by a Florida judge for a killing spree in Lehigh Acres that left four of his relatives dead in August 2015. His sentences are to run concurrently. This means that he will only serve one life sentence.

Last November, Hyde went on trial, but that first trial was over in less than 5 minutes, because a witness, Dorrien Pitts, the husband of  Dorla Pitts, one of the three persons Hyde murdered, had made a remark which the judge, Margaret O. Steinbeck, ruled to be prejudicial to Hyde, when he made reference to Hyde’s illegal immigration status.

The judge declared a mistrial and Hyde had to wait for another trial, which occurred in April of this year, when he was found guilty on four counts of second degree murder.

Hyde had chopped up and killed his aunt, Dorla Pitts, 37; her daughter, Starlette Pitts, 17; and her boyfriend, Michael Deon Kelly, Jr., 19. Starlette Pitts was pregnant at the time she was murdered, and Hyde was also charged with the murder of the unborn child.

Starlette’s body was found nude on the living room floor of the house. She had also been raped by Hyde, whose semen was found inside her body, a rape kit confirmed.

The murders occurred on August 11, 2015 at the family’s home, where Hyde was staying when he arrived in Florida from Belize.

Police picked up Hyde because he was driving his aunt, Dorla Pitts’ white Range Rover erratically. Police believe that he was fleeing because of the incriminating evidence inside the vehicle.

Hyde, however, was unable to explain to police why there was blood on his shoes and clothing.

When a friend of the family went to the family’s house to check on them, there was no answer at the door. The family was subsequently found dead inside their home.

Meanwhile, Hyde, who was in police custody, was eventually charged for the murders. A machete, screwdriver and a sharp knife were also found at the crime scene.

Hyde’s second trial in April lasted for only 5 days, and the six-member jury deliberated for a little over three hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment.

At his trial, Hyde took the witness stand and stated that he did not remember killing his family and attempted to blame the trauma on what had happened to some members of his family in Belize who had been murdered. Hyde also testified that he had been abused in Belize when he was younger, but his allegation of being abused was not specific.

Also at his trial, the jury was never told about his immigration status.

Hyde’s defense was that trauma prevented him from remembering finding his family murdered.

Dorla Pitts, who was a graduate of Florida Southwestern College, worked as a nursing certified assistant for Collier County.

She was on the phone with her husband when he heard her exclaim, “Brian what happened here,” before the phone line went dead.

Her daughter Starlette was also the mother of a 1-year-old child who was at the house when the killing occurred, but was unharmed. The child is reportedly being raised by Dorrien Pitts.

When the bodies were discovered, Starlette Pitts, who was about six months pregnant, was found on the living room floor naked with three stab wounds. Kelly was also found in the living room. He was lying on his side with 10 stab wounds.

Starlette’s baby, one-year-old A’Ziah Kelly, was found by Lee County Sheriff’s deputy standing on a bed and crying.

Officers working the crime scene described it as shockingly violent.

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Deshawn Swasey

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