A Florida man was convicted on Friday for murdering his former roommate as “revenge” for a stolen PlayStation.
Jake Adam Bilotta, 26, must spend life in prison for stabbing Joshua Barnes, 24, to death.
Seminole Jury finds Jake Bilotta Guilty of 1st Degree Murder in the death of Joshua Barnes in 2018. Prosecutors successfully argued the motive was revenge for theft of a PlayStation, not self defense as Bilotta claimed. Sentenced to Life in DOC pic.twitter.com/56P8qbpwpG
— State Attorney 18th Circuit FL (@SA18PIO) December 16, 2022
Co-defendant Ian Reilly McClurg, 25, pleaded guilty on Jan. 7, 2020 to accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence. In return, he agreed to testify against Bilotta.
McClurg told deputies that he and Bilotta had previously kicked Barnes out of the home for not paying the rent and for once leaving the door unlocked, according to an arrest report reviewed by Law&Crime. But McClurg soon discovered that several items, including a PlayStation 4, were missing. Bilotta had been out of town during this discovery.
“Jake arrived home on November 26, 2018 and realized his items were missing and became very upset and punched a hole in the wall,” deputies said. “Ian was the only one home at the time.”
They discussed a plan to kill Barnes. Bilotta lured the victim back to their home with a promise to go to party, deputies said. McClurg was to sit on the couch and make sure Barnes did not attempt to flee deeper into the home. Bilotta, however, answered the door with a knife and stabbed Barnes, according to the arrest report.
“You’re killing me,” Barnes yelled repeatedly, according to McClurg.
“BILOTTA and MCCLURG planned to lure former roommate Barnes to a residence at 1917 South Boulevard (unincorporated Maitland) to seek revenge for the theft of a PlayStation gaming device earlier that week,” prosecutors have written. “Upon entering the house, Barnes was attacked by BILOTTA, but MCCLURG abandoned the plan and did not participate. BILOTTA alone fought with and stabbed Barnes to death. The defendants were arrested after a roommate walked in on BILOTTA and MCCLURG attempting to place Barnes[‘] body into plastic bags and called 911.”
That roommate witness arrived home to find blood everywhere inside and a man dead on the floor, deputies said. He said Bilotta was kneeling, searching through a backpack next to the body.
Bilotta said he had to “give the fucker credit,” according to the arrest report. “He put up a good fight.”
McClurg was reportedly holding a knife, which the roommate witness took.
Deputies said they arrived to find Barnes dead and McClurg in a bathroom, but Bilotta, who fled, was found barefoot about a mile away at a business’ parking lot.
“Jake had blood on both hands, his feet and his clothing as well,” deputies said.
McClurg is serving a 10 year prison sentence to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.
Ian MCCLURG (22) enters plea in 2018 PlayStation revenge murder of Joshua Barnes (24) and agrees to testify against co-defendant, Jake BILOTTA (23) in future trial. https://t.co/WB1WLd2InV pic.twitter.com/fJ10mXPiFD
— State Attorney 18th Circuit FL (@SA18PIO) January 7, 2020
[Mugshot via State Attorney’s Office for the 18th Judicial Circuit]
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