State's key witness testifies at hearing for teen accused of shooting rabbi

DeAndre Charles, 15, held in jail without bond

MIAMI – The state's key witness in the case of a teenager accused of fatally shooting a rabbi in Northeast Miami-Dade in 2014 testified at a hearing Friday against DeAndre Charles.

The man drew up a rough sketch after he said he saw Charles and another person run away from the scene.

”What made you draw his face?" the prosecutor asked.

"I didn't want him to get away with it," the witness said.

The witness testified during an Arthur hearing for the 15-year-old, who is accused of killing Rabbi Joseph Raksin during an attempted robbery in August 2014.

Charles' attorney said he hopes his client can await trial while out on bond.

"I don't think he did this," the attorney said.

Charles' parents and family members sat just feet away from him in court. Meanwhile, the rabbi's daughter, family members and friends packed the courtroom.

"It's very difficult to go back to that day," a family friend said.

The witness said he was awoken the morning of Aug. 9, 2014, hearing screams for help. He said he saw two black males run by his home and then saw the rabbi on the ground about a half block away.

The man drew a sketch of the gunman and gave it to police a week later.

The witness was questioned by police and picked Charles out of a photo lineup.

 "Why did you circle his picture?" the prosecutor asked.

"It looked just like the guy, the features," he said.

Charles has a previous juvenile record that includes theft and resisting arrest without violence charges.

He is being held without bond on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery.


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