Crime

Possible boot camp for Canadian teen charged in fatal Miami shootings

Marc Wabafiyebazua, center, arrives in court for his bail hearing in June.
Marc Wabafiyebazua, center, arrives in court for his bail hearing in June. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The Canadian teen charged in connection with a fatal Miami shooting is eligible for a county boot-camp program that would spare him significant time in jail, a court heard on Monday.

Now, Miami-Dade prosecutors must decide if they will allow 15-year-old Marc Wabafiyebazu to enter the program as punishment for his role in a botched drug rip-off that left his older brother and another teen shot to death in March.

“Boot camp is just another option available to the adult criminal system once one has been determined to meet the basic program criteria,” said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office. “No decision has yet been made, in any direction, on the resolution of this case.”

Marc is the son of Roxanne Dubé, who had just become Canada’s general consul in Miami a few weeks before the shooting. He is charged with first-degree felony murder and has been in jail since his arrest the day of the shooting.

His defense lawyer, Curt Obront, could not be reached for comment on Monday. The teen’s legal team has described Marc as an innocent tag-along to a troubled older brother.

The widely lauded military-style boot-camp program lasts six months and would likely entail house arrest and some period of probation. During the program, cadets receive “behavior modification” courses, job training and drug treatment.

The program is the same one that will be chronicled in Rock & a Hard Place, an upcoming HBO documentary produced by action movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The jail boot camp evaluated Marc for physical and mental toughness required for the program, which is aimed at defendants between the ages of 14 and 24 with no significant criminal history. During a brief court hearing on Monday, a prosecutor told the judge Marc had met the requirements to enter the program, which begins its next session in February.

Two other young men charged in the fatal shooting, drug dealers Anthony Rodriguez and Johann Ruiz, entered the same boot camp program in October.

According to prosecutors, Marc and Jean Wabfiyebazu 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 planned the whole time to rob the men of drugs.

Jean went into the apartment while Marc waited outside. Inside, gunfire erupted and Jean and 17-year-old drug dealer Joshua Wright shot and killed each other. According to the state, Marc admitted to a Miami police officer that he was involved in the planning of the rip-off.

Ruiz and Rodriguez, neither of whom were armed or fired weapons that day, were wounded and charged with third-degree murder felony murder, a lesser charge than Marc is facing.

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