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Mother of slain Tampa teens detained under Baker Act

TAMPA — Four months after her two children were fatally shot at their South Tampa home, Judy Brito was taken into custody Monday for a mental evaluation, deputies said.

Deputies think Brito, 32, was planning to commit suicide and took her in under the Baker Act.

Brito was arrested just after midnight at 8506 Gold Ridge Circle in Clair Mel.

While there, they noticed an open cigarette box with a small plastic bag of cocaine inside.

Brito's two children, Kiara, 16, and Jeremi, 13, were shot and killed during a home invasion robbery in early June.

Police have said the home was targeted.

Brito, who was not at home during the shooting, was said to have been distraught and cooperative with investigators throughout.

Authorities have not said where Brito was during the shooting.

Tavari Grant, 18, and Charles Waits, 19, were arraigned June 28 on charges of first-degree murder. They pleaded not guilty.

Tampa police say the men shot the two siblings in the head during the early morning break-in on June 5.

Kiara, a basketball player and straight-A student, died at the house. Jeremi, who played bass in his middle school band, was taken off life support the next day.

Judy Brito remained in jail Monday in lieu of $2,000 bond.

Before she and her children moved from Massachusetts to Tampa in 2006, Brito worked as a dispatcher for the city of Lawrence.

In 2004, she was accused of using cocaine and drinking beer with a firefighter while both were on duty — activities that were captured on videotape and became a local scandal.

Although Brito was fired by the city, neither she nor the firefighter faced criminal charges because of a lack of evidence.

Times staff writer Jessica Vander Velde contributed to this report.

Mother of slain Tampa teens detained under Baker Act 10/03/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 3, 2011 10:23pm]
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