Murder-for-Hire Conspiracy Shakes Hernando County

In a November 2 report by FOX 13 Tampa Bay, a horrifying murder-for-hire conspiracy has sent shockwaves through Hernando County, resulting in the tragic death of a 17-year-old girl and severe injuries to a family member. The chilling sequence of events began on February 6, 2023, when Isabella Scavelli, a 17-year-old junior at Hernando High School, took the brave step of reporting a sexual assault. She identified her alleged assailant as 36-year-old Lenard White, also known as Len, Mike Williams, and Stick.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis revealed that, on the night following Scavelli’s report, a horrifying act unfolded. Isabella Scavelli and the same relative who had accompanied her to the sheriff’s office were met at their doorstep by two armed men who opened fire on them. Tragically, Isabella Scavelli lost her life in this senseless act, and her family member, whose identity remains undisclosed, sustained severe injuries.

Responding to the tragedy, deputies, aided by K9 units, arrived at the scene near the intersection of Hazel Avenue and Martin Luther King J. Blvd. in Brooksville, around 11:30 p.m. on February 7. K9 units, following what they believed was the path of the suspects, discovered a crucial piece of evidence near the crime scene: a shoe.

Sheriff Nienhuis disclosed that the DNA found on this shoe was linked to 22-year-old Keshawn Woods, a documented gang member. White, the prime suspect in the sexual battery case, quickly emerged as a suspect in the double shooting. Shockingly, officials uncovered that White had embarked on an unplanned, spontaneous trip to Georgia on the same day that the teen reported the alleged sexual battery. This trip seemed to be an attempt to create an alibi and evade prosecution.

The narrative took a disturbing turn with the involvement of Sheldon Robinson, a 21-year-old. It is alleged that White paid Robinson approximately $10,000 to carry out the murder. Robinson’s solicitation for help via social media, where he described the crime as a ‘clean up job,’ was laced with a tempting offer of $5,000 and cocaine for anyone willing to assist.

Tragically, Keshawn Woods accepted this sinister offer. A subsequent search warrant executed at Woods’ residence revealed around $4,000 in cash, a firearm, and illegal drugs. Additionally, law enforcement discovered that Robinson had the remaining $6,000. It was concerning to find that Janet Williams, Woods’ mother, possessed the $6,000 but was uncooperative with law enforcement regarding the money.

Further critical evidence came to light when investigators examined the getaway car and located the matching shoe, which played a pivotal role in the investigation. Matching ammunition for the gun used at the crime scene was also found at Robinson’s home, leading to his detention since February 9, 2023.

In collaboration with the ATF, law enforcement officials recently made a significant discovery: a hidden gun in Robinson’s backyard. Sheriff Nienhuis confirmed that ballistics testing conclusively tied this weapon to the shooting of the victims.

Sheriff Nienhuis expressed his profound sorrow over the loss of a promising 17-year-old. He described Isabella Scavelli as an individual not involved in high-risk activities, with a bright future that was tragically cut short.

Lenard White, who had been in custody since February 15, 2023, on sexual battery charges, is set to face additional federal charges. Keshawn Woods, arrested in Brooksville last week, has been charged with felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a new drug, and possession of paraphernalia at the state level.

Federal charges against the three men – White, Robinson, and Woods – are grave, encompassing conspiracy to commit murder for hire, murder for hire, and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Additionally, White and Robinson have been federally charged with conspiring to possess controlled substances for distribution, tampering with a witness, and obstruction of justice.

Janet Williams, located and arrested last week by ATF agents and HCSO deputies, faces three counts of making false statements to an ATF agent at the federal level.

Conviction on these charges could entail a mandatory life term in federal prison for White, Robinson, and Woods, while Williams could face a 15-year prison sentence. The gravity of these charges underscores the severity of the alleged crimes that have rocked Hernando County.

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