[PHOTO CREDITS: iStock / noLimit46]
[Original Publish Date: 01/15/20]
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LEESBURG, Florida — Two teenage boys are facing serious charges after forcing another boy to strip at gunpoint on video — and one of them is out on bond for murder.
On Monday, Leesburg Police responded to Oak Park Middle School and met with a school resource deputy who told him a video was posted to Snapchat showing a boy being forced to strip by two people holding him at gunpoint. The subjects could not be seen on the video, according to an arrest affidavit. The video showed someone holding a firearm in the direction of the boy, who appeared to be terrified, the arresting officer noted, and he was able to hear one of the suspects say, “Hey snitch,” while pointing a rifle-style BB gun at the victim.
The victim — who did not report the crime because he was scared — told police Monday, Darien Bentley, 13, and Mar’quez McFarland, 15, forced him at gunpoint to walk upstairs at an apartment complex on Saturday. (Lake Legal News rarely releases the names of juveniles, but due to the seriousness of the crimes, we chose to release them in this case.) They forced him to remove of all of his clothes until he was completely naked and threatened to shoot him if he ran away or did not comply. He also told the officer both boys recorded the incident on their cell phones.
Bentley was arrested Monday and McFarland turned himself into Leesburg Police around noon Wednesday. McFarland is no stranger to the law. He was out on $100,000 bond for the murder of a Mascotte man in February 2019, said Lake County Sheriff’s Sgt. Fred Jones. He was charged with attempted murder and second degree murder stemming from a drug deal gone bad, said LCSO Lt. John Herrell.
McFarland and Bentley were charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a minor, transmitting child pornography and kidnapping a juvenile over 13. They were turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]