The 15-year-old son of a high-level Canadian diplomat is now charged as an adult in connection with the Miami drug-deal robbery that left his older brother shot to death.
A Miami-Dade grand jury on Wednesday issued an indictment for first-degree felony murder against Marc Wabafiyebazu in a case closely followed in his native Canada.
Marc, who is being held in secure juvenile detention, will now be moved to an adult jail to await trial in Miami-Dade felony court. Also indicted on felony murder charges on Wednesday: suspected marijuana dealers Anthony Rodriguez, 19, and Johann Ruiz, 21. Both men had been previously arrested and posted bond.
Marc and his 17-year-old brother Jean are the sons of Roxanne Dubé, who became Canada’s consul general in Miami earlier this year. The boys had moved to Pinecrest with their mother, and had only been in the area about a month.
Under Florida law, anyone who commits certain felonies in which someone dies — in Marc’s case, an alleged attempted armed robbery — can be charged with felony murder. He also face charges of attempted felony murder.
“We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and defending the charges,” his defense attorney, Curt Obront, said on Wednesday.
Miami police say Marc and Jean set up the deal to pay $4,800 for two pounds of marijuana from a group of dealers at a Coral Way neighborhood apartment. But investigators believe they planned the whole time to rob the men of marijuana. They drove in their mother’s black BMW with diplomatic plates to the apartment.
According to police reports, gunfire erupted. Jean was killed, as was suspected 17-year-old drug dealer Joshua Wright, a former Coral Gables High student.
Investigators believe Marc was waiting outside when the shots rang out. According to the indictment, Jean and Wright shot each other, while one of Jean’s bullets hit Rodriguez in the left arm.
According to sources, police believe Marc rushed in, grabbed one of his brother’s two pistols and chased after Rodriguez, firing at him.
Rodriguez, who police believe brought the marijuana to the deal, drove to a nearby gas station, where he was detained. Ruiz, a friend of Wright’s and the apartment tenant, was shot in the stomach and was arrested after a stay at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Rodriguez and Ruiz were charged with third-degree felony murder for participating in the drug deal that led to the deaths of Wright and Jean. Because the men have been charged with a less serious crime, they have been allowed to post a bond while remaining on house arrest.
Ruiz’s attorney, Neil Taylor, has pleaded not guilty on his client’s behalf. He declined to comment, saying only: “Our sympathies go out to the multiple parents who suffered a loss of an egregious nature,” Taylor said.
Marc was initially charged with threatening a Miami homicide detective while at police headquarters. As he was being driven to the juvenile detention center, according to police, he “spontaneously” admitted to a transport officer that he and his brother had planned to steal the marijuana.
He also admitted that he and his brother had done robberies before in Canada, according to Marc’s arrest report.