Bobby Kent was murdered by seven people including his best friend, Murder Pact examines this case of teenage conspiracy.
Kent and his best friend Marty Puccio had known each other since third grade and although they were good friend, Kent often beat Puccio up. This behaviour continued into adulthood, where hitting the gym and taking steriods only made Kent’s behaviour worse.
In 1993 both Kent and Puccio were aged 20 and had began dating a couple of girls they had met. Puccio was seeing Lisa Connelly, 18, and Kent was set up with her friend Alice Willis, 17, in a bid to loosen the grip Connelly thought he had on Puccio.
However, Willis soon split with Kent and described him as abusive, but Puccio continued to stay close to his old friend. Soon Connelly was pregnant and she allegedly really wanted to break the hold Kent had on Puccio.
Eventually the friends began discussing killing Kent and hatched a plan for Willis to distract him with sex whilst Connelly shot him. They drove to a construction site but as Kent and Willis had sex, Connelly was unable to go through with the murder.
Instead she along with Puccio, Willis, Willis’ new boyfrined Donald Semenec, 17, and Heather Swallers, 18, sought the help of Derek Kaufman, 20, who claimed to be a hit man. He was unable to get them a gun as quickly as they wanted but he agreed to help.
The next night Kaufman joined the group along with Connelly’s cousin, 19-year-old Derek Dzvirko. They armed themselces with knives and bats and then lured Kent to the construction site, again with promises of sex with Willis.
This time as Kent was distracted with Willis, Semenec stabbed him in the neck. As Kent asked Puccio for help, his best friend instead stabbed him repeatedly in the stomach. Eventually Puccio slit Kent’s throat and Kaufman hit him on the head with a baseball bat. They then dumped his body near a marsh, where they hoped the alligators would eat his body.
With so many people involved in the murder, it was not long before word got out. Connelly told her mom and her cousin Dzvirko later confessed everything to a detective, leading them to the body as proof his story was true.
Puccio was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, with this later being overturned and replaced with life in prison with parole possible after 25 years.
Semenec was given a life sentence and another 15 years on top, with Kaufman getting the same but with 30 additional years.
Willis was found guilty of second-degree murder and given 40 years, later reduced to 17 and 15 for conspiracy. She was released under community supervision in 2001.
Connelly was initially sentenced to life in prison but this was reduced to 9 years on appeal, she was released in 2004.
Dzvirko was given 7 years plus 4 for lying in court, he was released in 1999. Swallers was given the same sentence and released in 1998.
In 1998 the case spawned the best-selling true crime book Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge by Jim Schutze.
In 2001 the book was adapted for the big screen and made into the movie Bully, starring Brad Renfro and Nick Stahl.
Murder Pact airs at 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.