Jose Amaya Guardado

4th Suspect Officially Charged in Homestead Teen's Murder

One of four young murder suspects, accused in the brutal killing of a teen in Homestead, was officially charged on Monday. The teen girl could face an indictment by a grand jury for her alleged role in the savage murder of a classmate.

18-year-old Desiray Strickland walked into court as a fourth defendant in the brutal murder of Jose Amaya-Guardado. She's been charged with one count of second degree murder with a deadly weapon.

Family members found 17-year-old Amaya-Guardado buried in a shallow grave near his school last month. The police report said his face was caved-in by a machete.

The other defendants, his classmates at Job Corps, Kaheem Arbelo, Jonathan Lucas and Christian Colon have also been charged with second degree murder.

Strickland confessed to planning the murder with the others and told detectives they lured Guardado into the woods and attacked him with a machete. They set fire to the evidence and then Strickland told detectives she had sex near Guardado's dead body.

The Homestead Job Corps is part of the U.S. Department of Labor and helps at-risk youth.

Officials put out a statement on Monday:

"No students are currently at Homestead; they are on summer break. A small number of students, 17, were not able to return to their homes on summer break and have been relocated to another Job Corps center. Instruction and training have been suspended for now, and we notified students and parents that the summer break will now run until at least Sept. 9 as we continue our review of the center’s security standards."

Prosecutors are sending the cases before a grand jury next month. They want the defendants indicted on first degree pre-meditated murder charges. Then, all four could face the death penalty if convicted.

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