Charles Waits takes the stand in his own murder trial - WNCN: News, Weather

Charles Waits takes the stand in his own murder trial

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File photo of Charles Waits File photo of Charles Waits
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Late Monday afternoon, Charles Waits took the stand in his own murder trial.

He's accused of murdering two Tampa teens in 2011.

But Waits claims he didn't do it.

Tampa police say on an early June morning in 2011, 16-year-old Kiara Brito and her 13-year-old brother Jeremi were murdered during a home invasion.

Charles Waits and his friend Tavari Grant were later charged for the crime.

Related Story: Trial underway in case of murdered Tampa teens

Waits' murder trial is well underway and on Monday, the defense called on him to testify.

Waits claimed Grant forced him at gunpoint to take him to the Brito house to steal drugs from the teens.

Waits said, "He put the gun to my head, and at that time I'm looking at him...I see evil."

Waits says Grant forced him to knock on the door, where they were met by Kiara Brito.

He said, "When she realized, she tried to close the door and when she tried to close the door, he pushed both of us into the house."

Waits says Grant forced his way in, and robbed the teens. Waits said he left the house ahead of Grant.

"I was going to put the keys [in the ignition]...I heard a pop! Pop!"

Waits said he didn't think Grant was capable of murder and only later learned the two teens were killed.

He says out of fear he refrained from calling the police and later lied to detectives to help protect his friend.

The state presented an audio recording as evidence.

The recording was made in 2011 shortly after Waits turned himself in for the crime.

In the recording, he told the detectives that it was a man named ‘Rocco' who forced his way into the home to rob the teens.

On the stand he admitted ‘Rocco' was a real guy, but the story was made up to protect his friend Tavari Grant.

Grant has also been charged with First Degree Murder.

He's still awaiting trial.

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