MIAMI (AP) — A Miami detective testified Wednesday he was spit upon and threatened with violence by the teenage son of a prominent Canadian diplomat after an alleged drug-related shootout that killed the boy’s older brother.
Det. Rolando Garcia said at a hearing that 15-year-old Marc Wabafiyebazu was tearing pieces of soundproofing material from the walls of a police interview room, trying to rip bolted-down chairs off the floor and yelling at officers after the March 30 slayings — particularly after he was told his brother was dead.
“He threatened he was going to kill me, he was going to blow my head off,” Garcia said, adding that the youth had spit at him earlier outside the apartment where the killings took place.
“He was aggressive. Violent,” the detective said.
The testimony came during a hearing on whether to release Wabafiyebazu, who is facing murder and other charges as an adult, on bail before trial. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler did not make an immediate decision. The hearing was to continue Thursday.
Wabafiyebazu’s mother is Roxanne Dube, Canada’s consul general in Miami. Her 17-year-old son, Jean Wabafiyebazu, and 17-year-old Joshua Wright were killed in an alleged attempt by the brothers to rob marijuana dealers. Two other young men also are charged.
Another investigator, police Lt. Carlos Castellanos, testified that evidence indicates Jean Wabafiyebazu and Wright fatally shot each other during the confrontation over about 2 pounds of marijuana. Two other people in the apartment suffered nonfatal gunshot wounds.
The cornerstone of Marc Wabafiyebazu’s defense is that he didn’t try to shoot anyone and essentially waited in their mother’s BMW — which carried diplomatic plates — while his older brother went inside. Under Florida law, however, anyone involved in killings while another felony is being committed can be charged with murder.
“Has any witness said anything about Marc pointing a gun at anyone on March 30, 2015?” asked defense attorney Michael Corey.
“No,” Garcia replied.
Instead, investigators say it appears Marc Wabafiyebazu went into the apartment after hearing gunshots and picked up his brother’s 40-caliber semiautomatic pistol. He had a brief confrontation with 19-year-old Anthony Rodriguez, who allegedly brought the marijuana to the deal, outside the apartment, but did not fire any shots as Rodriguez drove away.
Police believe Wabafiyebazu did fire his brother’s gun in the air, possibly to attract the attention of police.
Another officer is expected to testify that Marc Wabafiyebazu said while riding in a transport van that the shootout was a “job gone wrong” and that the brothers had done similar drug rip-offs in the past, including in Canada. The Miami shootout happened a few weeks after the pair left their father’s home in Ottawa, Canada, to join their mother in Florida.
Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.