Leesburg teen charged with attempted murder, kidnapping after attacking boy, deputies say

Matthew Kirby admitted his goal was to kill victim, investigators say

Matthew Kirby, 16, faces attempted murder charge.
Matthew Kirby, 16, faces attempted murder charge. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A 16-year-old boy is facing an attempted murder charge on Tuesday after Lake County deputies say he attacked a boy until he lost consciousness and left him naked in the woods.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to a home in Leesburg late Monday night for a report of a missing endangered child. The parents of the missing child said their son left home for a bike ride about an hour earlier. The parents expressed they were concerned because it was nearing 9 p.m. and their son had a learning disability, according to deputies.

Lake County investigators found the child naked just after midnight along the 11000 block of Huggins Street, records show. The child’s face was bruised and swollen, his mouth was bleeding and his eyes were swollen nearly shut, deputies said. As law enforcement called for medical assistance the victim told investigators Matthew Kirby,16, attacked him, an arrest report reveals.

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The boy detailed his attack, adding Kirby choked him until he lost consciousness. When he came to, he noticed he was in a wooded area where Kirby continued to beat the victim multiple times with closed fists asking “why he wouldn’t die,” the report reads. When the child awoke again, he said he was naked and alone. He decided to make his way to the road and left his bike behind, deputies said.

Going off a description of Kirby’s home provided by the child, deputies arrived and addressed a man and two other children in the screened-in porch of a house. The man was identified as Kirby’s father. Deputies described what happened to the child not far from the home and then asked if anyone had anything to do with it, a report reads.

Kirby stood up, walked out of the screened-in porch into the backyard towards the wooded area adjacent to his home. He told deputies the victim’s belongings were in the wooded area, records show.

Deputies interviewed the teen and say Kirby admitted he saw the boy on his bike near his home and started talking to him. Kirby said the boy made a comment about his sister and that’s when he immediately choked him until passed out, dragged him to multiple points near his home before continuing his attack in the wooded area, records show.

The child begged Kirby to stop and Kirby admitted to ignoring his cries, striking him with both firsts and both feet, even kicking his throat, deputies said. The teen showed law enforcement a cut on his hands, adding it was from the attack. Kirby also revealed where he got rid of the boy’s clothes, phone and bike, an arrest report reads. The teen said he stopped beating the boy when he got tired.

At that point, the child fell unconscious again. Kirby told law enforcement it was his goal to kill the boy, even showing frustration when he only fell unconscious four times, deputies said.

Investigators said Kirby showed “no remorse” during the investigation and even laughed at the juvenile victim, records show.

The teen is now accused of attempted murder, kidnapping and inflicting bodily harm and strong-arm robbery. He is in juvenile custody in Lake County.