Video: Canadian teen accepts plea deal
The son of a Canadian diplomat will enter a boot-camp program and serve house arrest and probation for his role in the Miami marijuana rip-off that ended in a gun battle which killed two teens, including his older brother.
Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, entered into the plea agreement Friday in a case that received extensive media coverage, especially in Canada, where two brothers once lived with their mother, Roxanne Dubé. The family had just moved to Miami to assume the role of Canada's general consul here a few weeks before the March 2015 shooting.
Dubé, who is no longer the consul general in Miami, will remain working with the Canadian government here while her son completes his probation.
“Today, it’s the mother who is the happiest in the world because I get to have my son back,” a tearful Dubé told reporters. “I am very grateful for the State Attorney to see in Marc the potential to be able to make a contribution to society.”
Under the plea deal, Marc accepted guilt to reduced charges of third-degree felony murder, attempted armed robbery and aggravated battery. He must complete the lauded Miami-Dade jail boot camp program, plus two years of house arrest and eight years of probation.
“You need to get your high-school diploma while you are on supervision,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler told Marc in court.
Prosecutors say Marc and 18-year-old Jean set up a 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.
A Miami-Dade grand jury originally indicted Marc on a charge of first-degree felony murder. In Florida, someone who commits certain felonies in which someone dies – in this case, attempted armed robbery – can be charged with murder.
He has been in jail since the day of the shooting.
Two other young men charged in the fatal shooting, drug dealers Anthony Rodriguez and Johann Ruiz, pleaded guilty to similar counts and entered the same boot camp program in October.
Miami-Dade’s 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.