Charged as Adults – Bulletproof Vest Test Gone Wrong

May 4, 2022 Criminal Defense, Juvenile Offenses, Violent Crimes

Two young teens have been charged with the connection of a fatal shooting of their friend. The tragedy occurred when a group of four teens attempted to test out a bulletproof vest. Things went horribly wrong when one of the boys, Christopher Broad, 16, was shot several times in the chest, one-shot piercing through his chest and leading to his death.

Now this “fun test” between friends has led to the death of one boy, and the arrest of two of the other boys involved. One of the boys, Colton Whitler, 17, was arrested for providing a false police report. Jarrett Vining Jr., 19, was arrested for fatally shooting Broad in the chest. Videos from Snapchat helped provide the police with the truth of what happened.

The case gets even more complicated with the newest incident involving the group of teens. Police have just arrested the young boys for a drive-by shooting not even a month after the arrest for the shooting of their friend.

So what exactly happened? We will cover the two incidents as well as the decision to charge the boy as adults in the unfortunate killing of another teen.

Initial False Account of Shooting

When police were first called to the scene in a Belleview mobile home park, 17-year-old Whitler made a false report about the incident. When he called 911 to report the shooting, Whitler said that unknown people had started shooting at the residence, which resulted in Broad getting shot in the chest. The boy continued to lie to the police, stating that he had no idea who was involved or how many people there were.

Michal Miley, a Sgt. detective from Belleview Police, later interviewed the teen who had made the call to 911 operators. The boy was initially just treated as a witness since the officers were unaware of the truth of the story. However, the teen changed his story when speaking with Miley. He said that he and Broad were hanging out on the property when two other friends stopped by, and Broad asked to be shot with the bulletproof vest on.

Whitler claimed they had done this before, and that Vining Jr. agreed to shoot at Broad. After several shots were fired, Broad fell to the ground. The group of boys removed the vest to find that Broad had been fatally hit in his chest.  

How Social Media Helped Police

Miley found one of the unnamed teens and inquired about the incident. That boy said that the alleged shooter (Vining Jr.) had shown the four of them a gun that belonged to his father, along with a bulletproof vest. He then proceeded to put the vest on himself and had Broad fire a shot at him. Then they switched roles and he shot at Broad.

The witness had recorded both shootings on the phone app Snapchat. He had deleted the video of Broad getting hit and dying, but agreed to hand over his phone to the authorities to recover the deleted footage. Miley was able to view the first video of Broad shooting at Vining Jr.

After police were able to receive the other Snapchat videos, Miley watched as Vining Jr. fired one shot. Vining Jr. then paused and then fired off four more shots at Broad’s chest. The video showed one of the bullets hitting Broad in a place where the vest did not fully cover, which is ultimately what caused his death.  

State Attorney’s Office Decision

The circumstances of the case were reviewed several times between officials and prosecutors. The prosecution team decided to charge the two defendants as adults for the shooting. Miley arrested the two boys and booked them into Marion County Jail.

The alleged shooter posted bail which was set at $30,000, and the other boy was also able to post bail which was set at $1,000.

Newest Drive-By Incident Involving the Teens

On Wednesday, April 27th, 2022, the same teenage boys were once again arrested for another incident.

According to the Ocala Police Department, a traffic stop was being conducted by an officer when he suddenly heard “numerous shots being fired nearby” and found a white car speeding away from the area and driving through a stop sign.

The officer followed the car and was able to pull the four teens over, who appeared to be “extremely nervous and sweaty.” Inside the vehicle was a rifle, that was placed between Jarret Vining Jr.’s legs. Vining Jr. and Whitler are the boys involved in the shooting of Broad just earlier this month.

After searching the vehicle there were an additional three pistols found in the car, including one that was hidden inside a pizza box. Police were informed by neighbors in the area that the boys were the ones responsible for shooting into a home. No one was inside the home at the time of the drive-by shooting.

Ocala Police Capt. Sandra Duryea gave the following comment on the newest incident: “At this point, we don’t know the motive or reasoning behind the drive-by shooting. There’s no reason for any of these juveniles to have a firearm, let alone drive by and shoot at a house; that’s not a way to solve any issue.”

Now Vining Jr. and Whitler face additional charges of shooting into an unoccupied dwelling, possession of a concealed firearm, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The two other boys—including Vining Jr.’s younger brother—in the vehicle both face charges of possession of a concealed firearm.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Getting accused of a crime as a juvenile is an extremely scary situation. Aside from expensive fines and potential jail time, there are additional long-lasting consequences that can occur from a criminal conviction as a teen. It is extremely important to find the right criminal representation for juveniles, which you can read more about in our blog here.

If you are a teen who has been accused of a crime or are the parent of a teen accused of a crime, it should be your top priority to seek out the legal help of a defense attorney. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the legal world and work towards building a strong defense for your case. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients all across the state of Florida, and understand how important it is to provide legal help to young teens in need of defense. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message for a free consultation today.

Written by Karissa Key

Back to Top