12 and 17-year-old arrested in connection to Marion County murders

The shadow of a Louisville Police officers arresting a demonstrator is seen on a wall on September 23, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. A Kentucky grand jury indicted one police officer involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor with three counts of wanton endangerment. No officers were indicted on charges in connection to Taylor's death. Two police officers were shot during protests that broke out after the grand jury announcement. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 12:21 PM – Friday, April 7, 2023

12-year-old Christopher Atkins and 17-year-old Robert Robertson has been detained and prosecuted by The Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in connection with a shooting that took place last week in Ocklawaha, Florida. Deputies are reportedly still hunting for a 16-year-old suspect Tahj Brewton. The incident had left three adolescents dead.


MCSO Sheriff Billy Woods spoke during a press conference on Friday.

“There are individuals out there viewing…who want to blame the one thing that has no ability or the capacity to commit the crime itself, and that’s gun,” Woods said. “These individuals committed the crime.”

The three victims were all associated with gangs, and were all involved in committing burglaries and robberies, Woods added.

“They took a life without thought. They deserve the full extent of the law,” Woods said.

Prior to the suspects’ arrests on Thursday night, the sheriff said he had to “stare into the eyes” of their moms, who were “willing to give their sons everything.” The two suspects who were detained, according to the police, were taken aback when officials arrived to take them to jail.

“The fact is: society fails them. We do not hold our juveniles accountable. We minimize their actions,” Woods said.

The victims, Layla Silvernail and Camille Quarles, both 16, and a 17-year-old boy were shot and left for dead in a remote county north of Orlando. Police have not released the name of the male victim.

On March 30th, When MCSO deputies arrived at Forest Lakes Park on SE 183rd Avenue Road, discovered 16-year-old Silvernail suffering from a gunshot wound.

On March 31st, MCSO deputies responded to SE 94th Street and SE 188th Court where they found the deceased 17-year-old male with a gunshot wound.

On April 1st, after searching the region around Malauka Loop and Malauka Loop Trace in response to a tip, the MCSO Major Crimes Unit, Forensic Unit, and Underwater Recovery Team discovered Silvernail’s car half buried in a body of water which was nine miles away from the spot where Silvernail was discovered.

According to Wood, prior to the victims’ deaths, the suspects were in Silvernail’s vehicle with them, and then all three victims were shot simultaneously.

In addition, the sheriff claimed that Silvernail “was there of her own free will.”

Authorities discovered 16-year-old Quarles in Silvernail’s car after getting a search warrant and inspecting it. He had suffered a gunshot wound. According to Woods, the detained suspects admitted to shooting Quarles inside the car. He said that the suspects got their guns from car burglaries.

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