Crime

Miami grand jury to hear case of Canadian teen charged with murder

Marc Wabafiyebazu (left), 15, the son of Canada's Consul General who is charged with felony murder, stands in juvenile court with attorney Curt Obront on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. The State Attorney’s Office will present evidence to a Miami-Dade grand jury; if Marc is indicted, his case will be moved to the adult criminal justice system.
Marc Wabafiyebazu (left), 15, the son of Canada's Consul General who is charged with felony murder, stands in juvenile court with attorney Curt Obront on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. The State Attorney’s Office will present evidence to a Miami-Dade grand jury; if Marc is indicted, his case will be moved to the adult criminal justice system. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

A grand jury will consider a possible indictment for murder against the teen son of Canada’s Consul General in Miami in connection with a violent drug robbery that ended in his brother’s death.

During a brief court hearing Wednesday, a prosecutor announced that the state attorney’s office will present the evidence against 15-year-old Marc Wabafiyebazu to the Miami-Dade grand jury. If he is indicted, Marc’s case will be moved immediately to the adult criminal justice system.

Marc is charged with felony murder in a case that has attracted media from across the world, particularly in his native Canada. He is the son of Roxanne Dubé, an experienced Canadian diplomat who had assumed her position in Miami earlier this year.

She appeared in court alongside her son’s attorneys on Wednesday at Miami’s juvenile justice courthouse. Marc, dressed in a gray sweater, appeared in court, his hands clasped behind his back. He did not speak except to tell the judge that he was “doing fine.”

Assistant State Attorney Marie Mato told Circuit Judge Angelica Zayas about the state’s intention to go to the grand jury. In Miami-Dade, prosecutors looking to charge first-degree murder are required to go to the grand jury, which is scheduled to convene Wednesday.

Marc’s attorney, Curt Obront, said Wednesday that his client will fight the charges. “That is our position, that he is not guilty,” Obront told reporters.

Dubé did not speak to reporters.

Police say that on March 30, he and his 17-year-old brother Jean drove their mother’s BMW to a Coral Way-area apartment with the “intention of ripping off” dealers of two pounds of marijuana valued at over $4,000. Inside the apartment, Jean was shot dead — as was one of the suspected dealers, Joshua Wright, also 17.

Investigators believe that Marc, while waiting outside, heard the shots and rushed in to find his brother dead. He allegedly grabbed a pistol, ran outside and began firing at Anthony Rodriguez, 19, whom prosecutors say brought the marijuana to the deal.

Marc is also accused of threatening a Miami homicide detective while being questioned at police headquarters. Police say that Marc, speaking to an officer driving him to the detention center, admitted his role in the planning of the armed robbery.

For now, Marc is being held in secure juvenile detention. If the teen is charged as an adult, Marc would be held in a special wing of a Miami-Dade adult jail.

In Florida, someone who participates in a violent felony in which someone dies — in this case, armed robbery — can be charged with murder.

Rodriguez was wounded in the arm and was taken into custody at a nearby gas station. He is also charged with felony murder for allegedly participating in the drug deal that led to the deaths of Wright and Jean.

Another young man, Johan Ruiz, 21, was shot in the stomach and survived. He was not charged.

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