Canadian diplomat, teen son anxiously await bail decision in Miami killings

Canada’s consul general to Miami finds out Wednesday if she can take her 15-year-old son home while he awaits trial on felony murder and other charges related to a shooting that left her other son dead.

Canada’s consul general to Miami finds out Wednesday if she can take her 15-year-old son home while he awaits trial on felony murder and other charges related to a shooting that left her other son dead.

At a hearing last Friday, a tearful Roxanne Dube promised to put up $25,000 and ensure Marc Wabafiyebazu abides by all conditions if he’s released on bail.

“My life is a life of integrity,” Dube said, turning to look directly at the judge. “If I give you my word, I mean it.”

It will be up to Circuit Judge Teresa Pooler to decide if Wabafiyebazu can have bail, and, if so, under restrictions she suggested would be stringent.

Police allege Wabafiyebazu’s 18-year-old brother Jean and another teenager shot each other dead at a Miami apartment on March 30 in what they say was a botched armed robbery the accused was part of.

At Friday’s hearing, Pooler pressed Dube on her status as a diplomat, asking several questions about her passports and whether she might somehow be able to spirit her son out of the United States. A desperate mother, the judge suggested, might well do or say anything to save him from potentially lengthy imprisonment.

“She has one son who is dead,” Pooler said. “She has one son who is on trial in connection with that death.”

The prosecution also suggested Dube’s diplomatic immunity meant she could lie under oath with impunity.

Dube bristled at the suggestions, saying allowing her child to become a fugitive would be ruinous to them both.

“He would be a criminal forever,” she said. “My diplomatic career would be over.”

The former Canadian ambassador to Zimbabwe told court that Wabafiyebazu — he has pleaded not guilty to felony first-degree murder and other charges — is the son every parent wants. She said he is quiet, smart and with no history of fighting or violence.

“I am absolutely convinced of Marc’s innocence,” she told the hearing.

Dube said her sons were inseparable — that the older one was ambitious and loved money. He had told her that day he was going to buy a school book. They would then grab some wings and watch a movie. Her younger child, she said, looked up to his older brother and was “highly influenced” by him.

In a darker moment, Dube said raising two boys can be difficult at the best of times but raising two black boys is even harder and her older son had been the victim of racial profiling.

“He was certainly feeling a difference,” she said.

In statements about which the defence has raised serious concerns, the grief-stricken teen allegedly told police his sibling had gone into the apartment planning to rip off a drug dealer while he waited in their mom’s black BMW.

The prosecution initially alleged the younger sibling was supposed to be the getaway driver. The defence pointed out that Wabafiyebazu, who had turned 15 just 12 days earlier, could not drive and did not get behind the wheel during the robbery.

The prosecution then alleged Wabafiyebazu had used one of his brother’s guns to shoot and injure the fleeing drug dealer. Surveillance video, forensic evidence and even the dealer’s own account ruled that out.

Ultimately, almost the entire case rests on testimony from Officer Juan Velez, a rookie cop who was transporting the accused to a detention centre. It was during that ride, Velez testified, that Wabafiyebazu spontaneously blurted out a detailed confession that included his assertion the brothers had done a drug “rip” many times before.

The defence heaped scorn on Velez’s account, noting that several key details of the purported confession were simply wrong.

Just Posted

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Central Alberta councils learn more about Bighorn Country proposal

A collection of central Alberta politicians are learning more about the province’s… Continue reading

High-speed chase led to fatal collision, jury hears

A Delburne man accused of manslaughter caused a fatal rollover collision during… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Most Read