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Friend of slain teens' mom: 'She was very proud of her children'

TAMPA — The mother of two slain Tampa teenagers was described as too distraught to talk publicly Wednesday, but a family friend released a statement on behalf of Judy Brito.

"She was very proud of her children," said friend Andrea Taylor. "She raised two very good kids."

Police did not release any additional details or announce any arrests Wednesday in the deaths of Kiara Brito, 16, and her brother Jeremi Brito, 13, shot to death early Sunday in their home near MacDill Air Force Base.

The man police have said they wanted to talk to about the shooting remained held without bail on drug charges. Police have not charged Charles Stephan Waits, 19, in the shooting or even called him a suspect.

On Monday, police arrested Waits on a drug warrant. An arrest affidavit states that detectives found crack cocaine in Waits' bedroom Sunday.

Police found his driver's license in the top drawer of a dresser. In the middle drawer, a bag held cocaine, the affidavit states.

Waits was charged with possessing cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

His attorney said Waits is a potential witness, not a suspect.

Police have said Waits is thought to have knowledge pertinent to the investigation of the shooting on W Van Buren Drive.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or

Friend of slain teens' mom: 'She was very proud of her children' 06/08/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 11:47pm]
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