Third teenage suspect arrested in Florida triple homicide

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The third juvenile suspect wanted in connection with the deaths of three teenagers in Florida was arrested following a massive manhunt, police said on Sunday.

Tahj Brewton, 16, was arrested on Saturday from south of Groveland, Florida, on outstanding warrants after three teens were found dead or dying near each other in Ocklawaha last week.

“Brewton was arrested on his outstanding warrants for carjacking with a firearm, aggravated assault, grand theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing or attempt to elude a law enforcement officer, and tampering with an electronic monitoring device,” the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office had offered up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of the “armed and dangerous” absconding suspect.

An investigation into the triple homicide is ongoing and “additional charges are forthcoming”, the police said.

Two other suspects, identified as 12-year-old Christopher De’l Atkins and Robert Le’Andrew Robinson, 17, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Friday.

Authorities believe the victims and the suspects were part of a burglary gang.

The teen victims, one boy and two girls, were discovered with gunshot wounds in Marion County, just days apart. They were found either dead or dying next to a road close to Ocklawaha, about 60 miles northwest of Orlando.

Layla Silvernail, 16, was found on the side of the road with a gunshot wound on 30 March. She later succumbed to her injuries.

An unidentified boy, 17, was found shot dead beside a road on 31 March within a mile of where Layla was located.

Another 16-year-old girl was discovered on 1 April shot and killed inside the trunk of Layla’s car, which had been partially plunged into a lake nine miles from where Layla was found.

Sheriff Billy Woods said the three victims and the three suspects had all been inside Layla’s car at one point when the suspects “turned on our three victims”.

He added that the motive was robbery.

“They fled but left a lot of evidence in their wake,” the sheriff said.

While the sheriff said the shootings don’t appear to be connected to a gang rivalry, he did say that the suspects are all connected to gangs.

“Each and every one of them was in some shape or form … associated with a gang,” the sheriff said.

He added that the young suspects are known to commit other crimes, such as burglaries and robberies in the same area, which is how they got hold of the firearm used in the killings.

“Basically, in simple terms, there is no honour among thieves,” Sheriff Woods said during the press briefing.

“And at some point, these three individuals turned on our three victims and murdered them.”

Third teenage suspect arrested in Florida triple homicide

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