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Police say man killed two boys for joking

Published Sep. 29, 2005

(ran SS edition of Metro & State)

Daniel Canellas is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Daniel Canellas was just supposed to be along for the ride.

His friend had agreed to give two boys a lift early Friday. And even though the boys had pitched in $30 for beer and gas, Canellas didn't like the way they were joking with his friend. So he shot them and dumped their bodies on a dead-end road, police said.

A construction worker found the bodies of the two young men, believed to be between ages 15 and 23, who remained unidentified late Friday.

Police said robbery was not a motive; both were found with cash in their pockets.

Canellas, 26, of Riviera Beach, was arrested on two charges of first-degree murder after his friend, Shannon McDonald, 22, also of Riviera Beach, told police about the slayings.

The two victims met up with McDonald around 2 a.m. Friday and asked for a ride, said Palm Beach County sheriff's Lt. Ed Serafin. They apparently did not know McDonald.

The three then ran into Canellas, who decided to join them, Serafin said. The group stopped at a gas station and bought beer and the two young men were jokingly ribbing McDonald, he said.

"(McDonald) said, "It didn't bother me at all. We were joking around,' " said Serafin, who did not know the exact nature of the conversations. "Apparently, it rubbed Daniel the wrong way."

When the car stopped in suburban West Palm Beach, McDonald opened the door so the two boys could get out. "For no apparent reason," Canellas then opened fire with a gun he had brought with him, Serafin said.

Canellas persuaded McDonald to give him the car, which he said he would burn and dump, Serafin said. Canellas told deputies where to find the car after confessing to the shootings, he added.