Florida teen wanted in connection to murder of 3 Marion County teens in custody: Deputies

A 16-year-old wanted in connected to the murders of three teenagers in a rural part of Marion County has been detained and arrested, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Tahj Brewton was located and arrested on Saturday, April 8 in Lake County, MCSO said in an updated Facebook post. U.S. Marshals and Lake County Sheriff's Office assisted in the arrest, MCSO said.

A $10,000 reward was announced Friday for information leading to the teenager's arrest, who was considered to be armed and dangerous at the time. It was not immediately clear how officials located Brewton in Lake County.

He was arrested on the outstanding warrants unrelated to the recent homicides 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. Additional charges were expected, MCSO said.

Two boys – a 12-year-old and 17-year-old, Robert Robinson – were arrested last week under suspicion of first-degree premeditated murder after three other teenagers – two 16-year-old girls and a 17-year-old boy – were found dead over the span of three days. All had been shot, officials said.

FOX 35 has decided not to name or show photos of the 12-year-old suspect because of his age.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said the six teenagers knew each other and were connected at some point with gangs, whether it be a neighborhood gang or a "wannabe gang." He said a motive in the shootings appears to be robbery.

"At some point, these three individuals turned on our three victims and murdered them," Woods told reporters during a press conference last week, adding that all were connected to gangs and alleged criminal activity, including burglary and robbery. 


  • Thursday, March 30: Deputies responded to a road near Forest Lakes Park in Ocklawaha, Florida, and found a 16-year-old girl shot on the side of the road. She was taken to the hospital where she later died. She was identified as Layla Silvernail.
  • Friday, March 31: Deputies responded to SE 94th Street and SE 188th Court and found a 17-year-old boy with gunshot wounds laying on the side of the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not identified by authorities as his family's request.
  • Saturday, April 1: Deputies responded to the area of Malauka Loop and Malauka Loop Trace and found a car partially submerged in a lake and a 16-year-old girl with gunshot wounds in the trunk of the car. The girl was pronounced dead. She was not identified by authorities at the request of her family.