‘Straight-up monsters’: Marion County residents react after MCSO arrests 2 males in connection to triple homicide

Marion County Sheriff's deputies arrested Robert Robinson,17, and Christopher Atkins,12. Tahj Brewton,17, is still on the loose.
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 11:28 PM EDT
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OCKLAWAHA, Fla. (WCJB) - Sheriff Billy Woods announced arrests in the homicide case of three teens, revealing that one of the suspects is 12 years old.

Marion County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Robert Robinson,17, and Christopher Atkins,12. Tahj Brewton, 16, is still on the loose.

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“Just straight-up monsters,” shared resident Damien League.

The sheriff said the victims Layla Silvernail, Camille Quarles, and an unnamed teen male knew the suspects for a short time and were involved in burglaries.

“Gangs don’t go to church on Sunday and then preach the gospel the next six days,” shared Sheriff Woods. “They’re gangs because they commit crimes.”

Woods said the three teens got a hold of the gun used to kill the victims from a burglary.

“School districts across this state and across this nation need to quit minimizing the actions of their students,” stated Sheriff Woods.

According to Marion County Public School officials Silvernail, Quarels, and Brewton were once students at Lake Weir High School.

Silvernail withdrew in January to be homeschooled. Quarels was a no-show before Spring Break. Brewton was reassigned from LWHS to an alternative school in April 2022 and returned to LWHS in January 2023 only to be reassigned again on January 31, 2023, to an alternative school.

Some parents in Marion County said they’re thinking twice about sending their kids to school.

“It just makes me want to actually home-school my kid instead,” shared one parent. “I mean he goes to the school right up the road and I don’t want him to really go anymore.”

Deputies said Robinson was already in custody after getting into a fight at school. School officials also addressed school safety after three lockdowns at Lake Weir High on Friday.

“Security in our schools has been and will always be our top priority. This is where we need your help. Reminding your student to make positive choices that lead to success is a great way to continue conversations from campus classrooms to home and back.” -Superintendent Dr. Diane Gullett.

“I hope sooner than later they find this other person and puts this case to sleep,” stated League.

Woods said the State Attorney’s Office is considering whether the suspects will be charged as adults.

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