Teen Charged as Adult in Murder of 15-Year-Old Kayla Rincon-Miller

16-year-old Christopher "Buster" Horne Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted armed robbery in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Kayla Rincon-Miller. Horne's family members face witness-tampering charges, accused of intimidating a witness to prevent cooperation with authorities.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Teen Charged as Adult in Murder of 15-Year-Old Kayla Rincon-Miller

Teen Charged as Adult in Murder of 15-Year-Old Kayla Rincon-Miller

Christopher "Buster" Horne Jr., 16, has waived arraignment on charges of principal to second-degree murder and attempted armed robbery in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Kayla Rincon-Miller in Cape Coral, Florida. Horne's attorney filed a written not-guilty plea, and he is being held without bond at Lee County Jail after prosecutors direct-filed the case against him on May 3, charging him as an adult.

Why this matters: This case highlights the growing concern of juvenile crime and the need for effective measures to prevent and address youth violence. It also raises questions about the role of family members in influencing or covering up criminal behavior, and the potential consequences for communities when witnesses are intimidated or tampered with.

The murder occurred on March 17, and Horne was arrested the same day. Cape Coral police Detective Michael Lasalandra testified that Horne and codefendant Thomas Stein, 16, communicated electronically on March 17, leading to the murder. Lasalandra said Horne was wearing a ski mask and armed with a pistol, according to a witness who claimed a social media post showed Horne made a comment indicating he wanted to commit a robbery.

Horne's parents, Christopher D. Horne Sr. and Shanice Duanna Stewart, and his aunt, Varaka Stewart, face witness-tampering charges and were released on bond. Detective Lasalandra testified that "people were tampering, trying to get Jessica Stein not to cooperate, threatening to kill one of her other children." Court documents say that on March 17, Shanice Stewart knowingly used intimidation or physical force to prevent Jessica Stein from speaking with authorities.

The caller in threatening phone calls to Jessica Stein said, "an envelope would be placed in Jessica Stein's mailbox." Shanice Stewart is due in court for her arraignment on June 3, while Christopher Horne Sr., Shanice Stewart, and Varaka Stewart are due in court for their arraignments on June 10. Horne is next due in court for a case management conference on June 27.

The tragic murder of 15-year-old Kayla Rincon-Miller has led to serious charges against 16-year-old Christopher "Buster" Horne Jr., who will be tried as an adult. With witness-tampering charges also filed against Horne's family members, this case continues to unfold as court proceedings move forward in the coming weeks.

Key Takeaways

  • 16-year-old Christopher "Buster" Horne Jr. charged with 2nd-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.
  • Horne waived arraignment and is being held without bond at Lee County Jail.
  • Horne's family members face witness-tampering charges for intimidating a key witness.
  • The murder of 15-year-old Kayla Rincon-Miller occurred on March 17 in Cape Coral, Florida.
  • Horne will be tried as an adult, with a case management conference scheduled for June 27.