• Search

12 Year Old Among 3 Juveniles Accused In Triple Homicide Of 3 Teens

Ocklawaha, FL – Three Florida teens have been arrested after three other juveniles were found shot to death and dumped within a five-mile radius of one another late last month.

One of the suspects, Christopher Atkins, is just 12 years old.

Deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) arrested Atkins and a second suspect, 17-year-old Robert Robinson, last week in connection with the triple homicide, WCJB reported.

Atkins was arrested at his home on April 6.

Robinson was already in custody for getting into a fight at school when he was charged in connection with the shootings, WCJB reported.

Atkins and Robinson have been charged with first-degree murder, according to CNN.

A third suspect, 17-year-old Tahj Brewton, was apprehended south of Groveland, Florida, on April 8 by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).

Brewton has been charged with tampering with an electronic monitoring device, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, grand theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, and carjacking with a firearm, CNN reported.

Additional charges are expected.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said the three suspects were in a burglary gang with the three teenage victims who were found dead, according to the New York Post.

“There’s no honor among thieves,” Sheriff Woods said during a press conference on April 7. “At some point, these three individuals turned on our three victims and murdered them.”

Layla Silvernail, 16, was found inside a dumpster on Southeast 183rd Avenue Road at approximately 10:52 p.m. on March 30, WCJB reported.

Silvernail had been shot in the head, but was still alive.

She was rushed to a local hospital, but was later pronounced dead, WCJB reported.

Police said a 17-year-old male wearing black gloves and a ski mask was found dead in a ditch about a half-mile away from Silvernail’s body the next morning, the New York Post reported.

The boy’s body was found by a girl as she was on her way to the school bus, according to the Daily Mail.

“I was walking with my brother and I found the guy… he was not breathing,” the girl later told the news outlet. “He was laying on his side and was wearing a black hoodie, black shirt, black pants and black shoes. He had the hoodie over his head and he had a black mask up over his face. I couldn’t see his face. You could only see his eyes.”

Silvernail’s car was found abandoned and partially submerged in a pond near Ocklawaha about nine miles away from where her body had been dumped, the New York Post reported.

Investigators said they found the body of 16-year-old Camile Quarles in the trunk of the car.

“[Atkins’] involvement as far as I could tell you is that he shot the third victim, who was (found) in the trunk of the car,” Sheriff Woods said, according to WKMG.

The sheriff said the three suspects “left a lot of evidence in their wake,” the New York Post reported.

Investigators said the six juveniles had all been riding together in Silvernail’s vehicle at one point during the night, and that they believe one of the victims intended to purchase a gun from one of the suspects before the triple homicide occurred.

The weapon used in the shootings had been stolen during a car burglary, according to the sheriff.

Sheriff Woods said it appears all three victims were killed at the same time, and that investigators have found a witness who said they heard the gunfire, the New York Post reported.

It is unclear whether the three suspects will be tried as adults.

Silvernail, Brewton, and Quarels have all attended Lake Weir High School, Marion County Public Schools (MPS) officials told WCJB.

Quarels quit going to class before spring break, and Silvernail withdrew from the high school in January to be homeschooled.

Brewton bounced between Lake Weir High School and alternative school since April of last year, WCJB reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."