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Two men plead not guilty in deaths of south Tampa teenagers

TAMPA — Three weeks after the fatal shootings of two South Tampa teenagers, suspects Tavari Grant, 18, and Charles Waits, 19, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder.

They pleaded not guilty, a standard move at the beginning of a case with such severe accusations — first-degree murder and home invasion robbery.

Tampa police say the men shot the two teenage siblings in the head at 3021 W Van Buren Drive in the early morning of June 5. The teens were home alone when it happened. Kiara Brito, 16, died at the scene. Jeremi Brito, 13, was taken off life support the next day.

Authorities have not said where their mother, Judy Brito, was during the shooting.

On Tuesday, she watched as the men accused of killing her children appeared in jail uniforms and chains. Sharing the courtroom with her were both of the men's mothers and other family members. All declined to comment.

The next court hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 22.

Two men plead not guilty in deaths of south Tampa teenagers 06/28/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:38pm]
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