Death penalty sought in Fla. slayings of 2 3 Howard vacationers faced a group harassing a woman, police say

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Florida prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for two of seven men charged in the April 16 slayings of two Howard County residents, who were vacationing in New Smyrna Beach.

The state attorney's office filed court papers yesterday, declaring it will seek the electric chair for Jonathan Trull, 27, and Joshua Trull, 18, the Observer newspaper in New Smyrna Beach is reporting today.

The Trull brothers were indicted in May on charges of first-degree murder in the killings of Matthew Wichita, 21, and Kevans Bradshaw Hall II, 23.

On a nine-day trip in April, Wichita, Hall and Seth Qubeck, all from Columbia, were staying with two friends in a beachfront condominium in New Smyrna Beach, south of Daytona Beach, and went to the aid of a woman who was being harassed by a group of local men, police said.

After a fistfight, the local men returned with baseball bats and knives, killing Wichita and Hall, police said, and stabbing the 21-year-old Qubeck 17 times.

The Trull brothers were to have been tried next month, but were granted a 60-day continuance at a pretrial hearing yesterday.

Pub Date: 7/09/98

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