ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - A Bay Area mother is reacting to the arrest of the last person accused of killing her son. Fourteen-year-old Franco Thomas has been taken into custody after detectives said he and two other teens robbed and beat 20-year-old Jeremy Mayers to death.
"I screamed. I rejoiced 'cause it was my oldest son's birthday. And what a wonderful present for him to get on his birthday," said Christine Mayers, the mother of four sons. Jeremy was the third oldest.
According to authorities, information led to Thomas, who U.S. Marshals found inside a relative's Tallahassee home on Tuesday. Thomas tried to run, they say, but the house was surrounded, and Thomas was taken without incident. Detectives said at first Thomas' mother was cooperating about turning her son in, but that changed.
Police said 16-year-old Brittany Detwiler, Scionti Hill, and Thomas ambushed Mayers outside a home along Sea Robin Drive SE back in July. It happened while Mayers was going to meet up with Detwiler, who authorities said had struck up a relationship with online. According to detectives, Mayers was beaten with a shotgun, strangled, and robbed. He later died at an area hospital.
Detwiler and Hill have already been arrested and charged as adults with First Degree Murder. Thomas also faces that same charge.
Police said Thomas' family members could also face charges if it's determined they helped hide him from authorities.