Canadian diplomat's son denied bail in Miami murder case

Marc Wabafiyebazu sitting in court during his bail hearing at the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building in Miami, Florida on May 27, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Marc Wabafiyebazu sitting in court during his bail hearing at the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building in Miami, Florida on May 27, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI (AFP) - A US judge denied bail Wednesday to a Canadian consul's 15-year-old son, charged with murder over a Miami drug shootout that left his brother dead.

The Florida judge said that if Marc Wabafiyebazu were granted bail, he might return to Canada where it would be difficult to extradite him.

"It seems highly unlikely were Mr. Wabafiyebazu to flee to Canada where his family and his father live, the United States would be able to bring him back," said Judge Teresa Mary Pooler.

Wabafiyebazu heard the decision in court wearing a brown inmate uniform and handcuffs. His mother, consul Roxanne Dube, was at the hearing but declined to comment to the media.

Wabafiyebazu is charged with first degree murder, among other charges, for the drug steal that turned into a shootout. The pair had come to live with their mother in Miami weeks before.

Police say the brothers drove a vehicle with diplomatic plates to a house in a residential neighborhood, entered armed, and tried to steal a kilo of marijuana.

The operation went wrong and a shootout took place between the boys and the drug dealers, killing one of the dealers and Wabafiyebazu's 17-year-old brother John. Two others were wounded in the shootings.

According to the defence, Wabafiyebazu stayed in the car while his brother tried to carry out the theft, then shot into the air to draw the attention of police.

According to Florida law, anyone involved in a violent crime in which someone dies can face the charge of murder.

"Certainly we are disappointed, but we respect the court," said defence attorney Curt Obront after the no-bail ruling.

The trial, where Wabafiyebazu will be tried as an adult, is scheduled to begin in July.