Trial underway for South Tampa teens' murder - WFLA News Channel 8

Trial underway for South Tampa teens' murder

Posted: Updated:
Waits is accused of first degree murder in the deaths of 16-year-old Kiara Brito and her brother, 13-year-old Jeremi Brito. Waits is accused of first degree murder in the deaths of 16-year-old Kiara Brito and her brother, 13-year-old Jeremi Brito.
Kiara and Jeremi Brito Kiara and Jeremi Brito
Judy Brito, mother of the murdered teens testified on Wednesday. Judy Brito, mother of the murdered teens testified on Wednesday.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The mother of two teens murdered in their South Tampa home took the stand Wednesday in the murder case against Charles Waits. Waits is accused of first degree murder in the deaths of 16-year-old Kiara Brito and her brother, 13-year-old Jeremi Brito.

The teens were killed in the early morning hours of June of 2011 during a home invasion. Their mother, Judy Brito, was not at home at the time of the killings. She broke down on the stand almost immediately. Brito told jurors she was on a parasailing trip at the beach with her boyfriend, when she got a phone call from Tampa Police.

"They didn't tell me anything," she said. "They told me I had two kids in the hospital. That something was wrong."

She rushed to Tampa General Hospital, where Jeremi was in surgery. He did not survive.

Brito said she had left Kiara alone before, and spoke to both of her children during the evening. She remembered calling Jeremi in the early hours of that June morning, telling him to go home to keep his sister company.

"Kiara doesn't like to sleep by herself," Brito sobbed. "So I called Jeremi and told him he had to go home, so she wouldn't be by herself."

Prosecutors say Charles Waits was one of the two men involved in the crime.

Waits' family friend, Lisa Hammock, took the stand, as well. She said her daughter Alexis Jackson introduced Kiara Brito and Charles Waits, because he wanted to get a tattoo from Kiara Brito, who ran a tattooing business from her living room.

Hammock and Jackson went to the Brito home the morning of the murders. Hammock said she called Waits to tell him what happened.

"When I first told him, he was like, auntie, they don't think it was me, do they?" she said. "I was like, no. He was just like, his prayers go out to the family, and that was it."

At the time of his arrest, police refereed to Waits as the get-away driver. A witness wrote down Waits' tag number at the home as he fled after the shooting, leading to his arrest.

Former Armwood high school football standout Tavari Grant is also charged with the crime, but is still waiting for his trial.

The case against Waits started early this week.

In court, Assistant State Attorney Michelle Doherty told jurors it was a brutal murder and a bloody crime scene. In her opening statement Doherty told jurors there will be no question that Waits was at the Brito home at the time of the murder.

Doherty says, "They used force, they were armed with firearms and this was brutal, horrific killing of Kiara and her brother."

Doherty told jurors that Waits even admitted to police after his arrest that he was at the home at the time of the murders. Doherty says Waits had been to the home before to buy marijuana from the teens.

Waits told police he took another man he called Rocco to the Brito home that night, and thought they were there just to buy drugs.

Waits told police he was forced by Rocco into the home at gunpoint before the killings.

Defense attorney Octovaio Gomez told jurors there is no evidence that puts his client in the home where the murders occurred.

Gomez says, "They found no evidence, not a hair, no fingerprints, absolutely nothing that belong to Charles Waits. There's not even a finger print on the door, there is nothing else."

Gomez says all of the evidence links the other man to the crime, but not his client

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations
http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

 









  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:02:23 GMT
    File Photo: Nick CongletonFile Photo: Nick Congleton
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
  • Home Depot probing 'Unusual Activity' after reports of data breach

    Home Depot probing 'Unusual Activity' after reports of data breach

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:55:41 GMT
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a massive credit card breachHome Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a massive credit card breach
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to have suffered a massive credit card breach, the company confirmed on Tuesday, after Krebs on Security reported that a large cache of stolen data had appeared on black market sites.
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to have suffered a massive credit card breach, the company confirmed on Tuesday, after Krebs on Security reported that a large cache of stolen data had appeared on black market sites.
  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:45 AM EDT2014-09-02 12:45:21 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Is your data safe in Apple’s iCloud?

    Is your data safe in Apple’s iCloud?

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:04:56 GMT
    Hackers gained access to celebrities private pictures including nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence. Apple says it has fixed a security flaw but cybersecurity experts say anyone can become a victim.“Anybody can get hacked.
    Hackers gained access to celebrities private pictures including nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence. Apple says it has fixed a security flaw but cybersecurity experts say anyone can become a victim.“Anybody can get hacked.
  • Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:02:23 GMT
    File Photo: Nick CongletonFile Photo: Nick Congleton
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
  • Dead fish creating problems on Honeymoon Island

    Dead fish creating problems on Honeymoon Island

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:43:31 GMT
    Red Tide spotted on the shore of Honeymoon Island.Red Tide spotted on the shore of Honeymoon Island.
    Scattered on the shore of Honeymoon Island in Pinellas county are hundreds of dead fish.Park rangers started noticing the fish wash on shore on Friday, just before one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year."In some spots it scattered and as you move up north on the beach it's up in the hundreds of fish," said park manager Pete Krulder.
    Scattered on the shore of Honeymoon Island in Pinellas county are hundreds of dead fish.Park rangers started noticing the fish wash on shore on Friday, just before one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year."In some spots it scattered and as you move up north on the beach it's up in the hundreds of fish," said park manager Pete Krulder.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.