Central Florida 'Gang' Boys, 17 and 12, Arrested In Connection With 3 Suspected Murders In 3 Days: Sheriff

robinson atkins

Robert Robinson and Christopher Atkins; courtesy

Apr. 7 2023, Published 2:36 p.m. ET

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Two school-age boys were under arrest April 7 and a third was being sought for a chain of three suspected murders in central Florida.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told a news conference that one of the captured suspects is 12. The other is 17.

“Each and every one of them was in some shape or form was associated with a gang,” WFTV quoted Woods as saying.

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Robert Robinson, 17, and Christopher Atkins, 12, were arrested Thursday night. The sheriff named the third wanted suspect: Tahj Brewton, 16. reported earlier this week that three teens were found shot over three days.

Only one victim has been identified publicly. Layla Silvernail, 16, was discovered wounded along a roadside Thursday, March 30. She died later at a hospital.


Layla Silvernail. Courtesy

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The second victim, a male, was found shot and killed along a roadside the next morning.

Then Silvernail's car was found partly submerged in a pond April 1 about nine miles from her body. A female was found shot and killed inside the car.

The killings sparked many rumors in central Florida. At one point, Woods posted a social media video assuring the public that a serial killer was not at large.

The accused killers “fled but left a lot of evidence in their wake,” Woods told reporters Friday. He added that the suspects had a record of robberies and burglaries in the Marion County area.

Woods thanked federal, Florida state and regional authorities for their help in finding the suspects.

A GoFundMe account established by Silvernail's club softball league has more than $6,200 in pledges.


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