Photos Released in Machete Murder of Homestead Teen

Recently-released photos are giving an inside look at the scene where prosecutors say a student in a federal job training program in Homestead was allegedly killed by his own classmates.

Police say 17-year-old Jose Amaya Guardado was hacked with a machete and made to lie in a grave in his final moments in July 2015. Five suspects have been charged with killing their classmate and their cases are working their way through the courts.

Family members say Guardado was a quiet teen trying to better himself at the Homestead Job Corps program. But prosecutors say it was at a shallow grave in southwest Miami-Dade where his life came to a tragic end.

Detectives say those charged with killing Guardado spent time to dig the grave, lured him to the area, and with him subdued made Guardado lay down in the grave.

"It's really hard because my brother was an honest kid," brother Freddy Amaya Guardado said.

NBC 6 also obtained photos showing two of those charged - Jonathan Lucas and alleged ringleader Kaheem Arabello - shortly after police grabbed them, both showing their hands to the police photographer.

Detectives were looking for marks on their hands as police say Guardado was killed with a machete. The photos from the wooded area show the tree branches sliced in multiple locations. Police say those charged got rid of the weapon.

Detectives say the killers tried to cover their tracks by burning the clothes Guardado was wearing. Police say the five charged suspects also set their own clothes on fire, and a green cigarette lighter was also found, along with a glove and a sock.

Guardado's brother was the one who found his body.

"Every day, every night, every time I'm working I cannot think about it, every time I pass by there I can not stop looking back where I found him," he said.

Police say after the murder the female charged, Desiray Strickland, had sex with Arabello in the woods not far from where Guardado's body was in the shallow grave.

The five charged have all entered not guilty pleas and their lawyers have taken extraordinary steps to in their view make sure they get a fair trial. Those efforts have involved getting hearings normally public closed, and keeping material like the recently-released photos out of the public view.

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