A Miami police detective testified on Wednesday that the teen son of Canada’s consul general spit at him and then “tore up” an interview room before he was arrested in connection with a drug ripoff gone wrong.
Miami Det. Rolando Garcia told a Miami-Dade judge that when he sat down and informed Marc Wabafiyebazu that his older brother had been killed in the shootout, the teen erupted.
“He told me, ‘Get the f--- out of there, I don’t want to talk to you,’” Garcia said. “He threatened me that he was going to kill me, blow my head off.”
The testimony of the lead detective came on the first day of a hearing to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to keep Marc, the son of Canada’s consul general in Miami, behind bars before trial for first-degree felony murder and attempted armed robbery.
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Prosecutors say Marc and his older brother, 17-year-old Jean, arranged a deal to pay $4,800 for two pounds of marijuana from a group of dealers at a Coral Way neighborhood apartment on March 30. They drove their mother’s black BMW with diplomatic plates to the apartment, where they planned to steal the drugs, police say.
While Marc waited outside, Jean went inside, where gunfire broke out. Bullets killed Jean, as well as Joshua Wright, 17, a suspected drug dealer and former Coral Gables High student. Two other young men, Johann Ruiz and Anthony Rodriguez, were wounded and also have been charged with felony murder for allegedly participating in the drug deal that led to the deaths.
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 has been jailed since the shooting.
The brothers had just moved to Pinecrest with their mother, Roxanne Dubé, a veteran diplomat who was once served as the country’s ambassador in Zimbabwe.
Garcia testified that he never read Marc his “Miranda” rights because the teen immediately said he did not want to speak.
The state’s murder case largely hinges on the testimony of Miami Police Officer Juan Velez, who was transporting Marc to a juvenile detention center hours after the shooting. Police say Marc, during the car ride, “spontaneously” admitted the shooting was a “job gone wrong.”
“He stated that they — they have robbed other people before and they were there to rob these people,” Velez told prosecutor Marie Mato in a newly released sworn statement. Velez is expected to testify again Friday, when the hearing resumes before Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler.
Investigators also believe that Marc rushed in to the apartment after the shooting, grabbed one of his brother’s pistols and fired some shots. Investigators initially believed Marc fired at Rodriguez as he fled.
But his defense lawyers say the location of the bullet casings prove Marc never fired at the car, but was only firing in the air “to attract the police so that they would respond to the scene quicker and potentially save his brother’s life.”
Prosecutors on Wednesday seemingly agreed, dropping the attempted murder charge levied at Marc for shooting the weapon.
Details also emerged about Dube’s interaction with police after the shooting. Garcia said he twice called the number Marc gave him, leaving messages, and later knocked on her door in Pinecrest in an unsuccessful attempt to notify her of the shooting.
The morning after the shooting, Dube showed up at the Miami police station with an assistant, appearing to have known something had happened. Garcia explained that her youngest son, though not having shot anyone, was being arrested for felony murder.
“She made a remark not agreeing with the law,” Garcia said. Garcia also said Dube asked “if this case could be resolved in Canada.”
“I told her, ‘I don’t believe that is possible,” Garcia testified.