Man found guilty of killing his 16-year-old niece after getting her pregnant

A Jacksonville man accused of impregnating and subsequently killing his teenage niece has been convicted of first-degree murder in Florida.

Johnathan Quiles, aged 38, has also been found guilty of sexual battery and the murder of the unborn child of the teenager after a Florida jury deliberated for approximately one hour.

Iyana Sawyer was 16 years old when she went missing in 2018. Despite her body never being recovered, a jury has determined that Quiles murdered her and her unborn child in December of that same year.

Ms. Sawyer was last spotted on December 19, 2018. She left her high school during her lunch break and traveled to a junkyard where Quiles was employed at the time.

Police believe that Quiles killed the girl, placed her body in a dumpster, and concealed or disposed of it at a landfill.

Quiles’ defense argued that the girl might still have been alive and attempted to prevent the prosecution from referring to Ms. Sawyer as the “victim.”

Nevertheless, after six days of prosecutors presenting evidence, which included other family members testifying about his sexual assaults and inappropriate messaging towards them, the jury delivered a guilty verdict.

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The key witness for the prosecution was Quiles’ own brother, Joseph, who claimed that Quiles confessed to him about murdering the girl and getting rid of her body. Allegedly, Johnathan Quiles was afraid of being estranged from his family if the girl gave birth to their child.

“He said he took the young lady and had her sitting in a vehicle, waiting, he tried to strangle her, it didn’t work out, he couldn’t stomach it, so he shot her in the chest. And he put the body, transporting it in a dumpster, and destroying the vehicle,” Joseph Quiles said.

The state is seeking the death penalty for Quiles. The jury will reconvene on Monday, September 25, to commence the sentencing phase.

“Today, a nearly 5-year nightmare ends with another measure of justice,” John Phillips, an attorney representing the family, said.

Members of Ms. Sawyer’s family expressed their satisfaction with the verdict.

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