Kaheem ArbeloHOMESTEAD. FL – Police have arrested four Homestead Job Corp students for their roles in the death of 17-year-old Jose Guardado, who was brutally murdered with a machete then buried in a shallow grave.

Guardado went missing on June 28 after being dropped off at the Job Corps facility. His brother would find his body several days later, buried in a shallow grave in some woods near the Job Corps center.

It didn’t take long before police had arrested four students at the school, with a fifth arrest pending.

Kaheem Arbelo, 20; Christian Colon, 19; Jonathan Lucas, 18; and Desiray Strickland, 18, have all admitted to police that they were responsible for the teen’s murder, a murder that had been planned weeks in advance. The motive behind the murder reportedly stemmed from the victim owing money to Arbelo, his roommate and an alleged drug dealer,

Law enforcement describe the accused students as bullies that operated inside Homestead Job Corps, a live-in school and vocational training program run by the U.S. Department of Labor designed for at-risk students.

Jose Guardado

Jose Guardado

Arbelo, Lucas and Colon were brought in for questioning and squealed like little piggies. Strickland was a different story.

She ended up charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on an officer and criminal mischief after she shoved and head-butted an investigator.

After being shackled, she tried unlocking her handcuffs using screws from an electrical outlet before scrawling “MPD Go to Hell” on a table.

Eventually, all four of the suspects confessed to the murder of Jose. In videotaped confessions, they admitted to planning the murder two weeks in advance, even digging a grave for Guardado and hiding a machete in the brush.

On the night of June 28, the group lured Guardado into the woods where Arbelo ambushed him with several hacks from the machete that caused “massive injuries.” According to the arrest report, Strickland “complained that she had missed the first series of machete strikes because she had walked away for a few minutes to urinate in the woods.”

As Guardado was bleeding to death, the students ordered Jose to lie in the grave. Instead, Guardado attempted to fight off his attackers “at which time, Arbelo struck the victim with the machete several more times until the victim’s face caved in.”

They then buried Guardado’s body and wiped blood off a nearby fence before burning the dead teen’s belongings and their own clothes. Strickland and Arbelo stayed in the woods to have sex before returning to Job Corps.

The four were all charged with second-degree murder. Since they are all adults, they could be eligible for indictment for first-degree murder and the death penalty.

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