CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Canadian Diplomat's Teen Son Charged With Murder In Florida

A Canadian diplomat's teen son has been charged with murder in Florida over the death of his brother and a suspected drug dealer in a drug-related shootout.

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has charged Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, of first and second-degree murder, attempted murder, attempted armed robbery and illegal possession of firearm by a minor. He will be tried as an adult.

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Currently, Wabafiyebazu is detained at a juvenile facility and will be transferred to a regular jail while waiting for his trial to begin.

The teen was arrested last March 30 after the shooting that killed his brother, Jean, and an alleged drug trader Joshua Wright. Both boys were 17.

Authorities believe the incident was a case of a bungled marijuana drug deal. 

Investigators said the Wabafiyebazu brothers went to a house of a suspected drug dealer to buy two pounds of marijuana estimated at US$5,000. The younger Marc stayed outside, while his brother Jean went in. Shots were fired, prompting the younger sibling to rush inside the house. 

The the older Wabafiyebazu and Wright were found dead as authorities arrived. Two other suspected drug dealers were wounded. 

The police also found the two brothers' vehicle bearing a diplomatic plate. This suggested they brought their mother's personal vehicle to the drug meeting. The siblings had recently relocated from their father's home in Ottawa to be with their mother in Florida.

Their mother, Roxanne Dubé, is a Canadian diplomat who is serving as consul general in Miami since last year. She previously worked as an ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Wabafiyebazu's lawyer said his client is set to plead not guilty to charges in the case. 

If convicted of murder charges, Wabafiyebazu could face death penalty or lifetime in prison without the possibility of release. 

However, legal experts said that to due to his age --- despite being tried as an adult --- he may be spared of such severe punishments. 

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