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Teens killed homeless man over $20, police say

Posted at 8:26 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2019-05-22 18:10:50-04

ADELPHI, MD (WJLA/CNN) -  In several states the suspects are not even old enough to drive. Two Maryland teens are facing murder charges. Police say they stabbed a homeless man to death over $20.

In his mug shot the 14-year-old suspect appears wide-eyed. He is 5 feet tall, and weighs 130 pounds. His name is Elias Portillo and he is charged with first degree murder.

It is alleged that in Adelphi Park back on July 27, Portillo and his barely 13-year-old buddy killed a homeless man after a failed robbery attempt. "The suspects approached the victim and demanded money from him. The victim did not comply with that and at that time is when the victim was fatally stabbed,” said Cpl. Tyler Hunter of the Prince George's County Police. 

The man's body was found in a wooded area just off a footpath in Adelhpi Park. And a little farther into the woods is a memorial to the victim, 47-year-old Fransisco Sagastizado. It was set up by his friends who also live in the woods.

They knew the alleged teen killers too. They saw them with knives, and they have a theory as to what went wrong. The man's identity is being concealed.  “It's really sad. I think the main reason they did that is they become addicted to marijuana," a friend of the victim said. 

Nobody answered the door at Portillo's house on Thursday afternoon.

Police say even veteran detectives are stunned. "Especially over something which appears to be so trivial, just an amount of money to fatally stab someone so quickly is certainly unsettling,” Hunter said.

Both suspects are being charged with first and second-degree murder. Police say the 14-year-old boy will be charged as an adult while the 13-year-old suspect is being charged as a juvenile.

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