ST. PETERSBURG — Authorities have decided to prosecute as adults two teenagers accused of robbing and killing a 20-year-old college student earlier this month.
Brittany Detwiler and Scionti Hill, both 16, lured Jeremy Mayers to a Coquina Key home on July 8, police said, where they beat him with a shotgun then choked him until he passed out.
Authorities also said Monday that there was a third person involved in the attack. That person has not yet been identified or arrested.
Police found Mayers lying unconscious in the front yard at 3632 Sea Robin Drive SE early July 8 after they were called to the neighborhood to investigate an unrelated hit-and-run crash. Mayers was rushed to the hospital, where he later died. Mayers worked at a Sweetbay Supermarket and studied music and business at St. Petersburg College.
After the beating, police said the two teens took his wallet, cellphone and green Chevy Impala.
"I'd say it's pretty heinous what they did. They don't need to do all that to rob the guy," said Bruce Bartlett, chief assistant state attorney for Pinellas-Pasco counties. "These are definitely kids out of control."
Public records show Detwiler does not have a criminal record. Hill, however, has arrests dating to when he was 9 years old for crimes such as battery and car theft.
Bartlett said that in a crime like this the state attorney's office asks: "Is this a child acting or is this someone acting as an adult?" In this case, he said, there was a planned scheme to rob someone, which turned into a murder.
Bartlett's office presented the case to a grand jury, which indicted the pair Thursday on first-degree murder charges.
Mayers family, who could not be reached for comment Monday, said the young man was very trusting and had only recently met Detwiler through a social network.
Kameel Stanley can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8643.