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Boy, 15, charged as adult in real estate agent’s murder in Broward, prosecutors say

15-year-old Henry Lee Lewis appears before a judge.
15-year-old Henry Lee Lewis appears before a judge.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County prosecutors are charging a 15-year-old boy as an adult, the Broward State Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday. Detectives accused him of killing a 37-year-old real estate agent after kidnapping him during a robbery on Feb. 1 in Fort Lauderdale.

Henry Lee Lewis, who turned 15 on Dec. 19, is facing charges of second-degree murder and armed robbery in the adult system. He was a student at Cross Creek School in Pompano Beach when he became a suspect in the murder of Stefano Barbosa.

The teen was first charged with an armed robbery when he was 12 years old. Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor released a statement saying the decision to charge him as an adult was very difficult to make.

“This young person’s issues are so significant that they require treatment, help, and services beyond what the juvenile justice system can provide at this time,” Pryor said.

If the teenage boy’s case were to be handled as a juvenile matter, he would have to be released from the juvenile justice system at age 18, Pryor said. The maximum term of residential treatment available in the juvenile justice system is 36 months prior to release.

“Any juvenile charge would mean that the person would be released after three years in the system and could only be kept under supervision in the community until age 21,” Pryor said.

Boy, 15, charged as adult; held without bond in Broward

According to Fort Lauderdale Detective Orlando Almanzar, surveillance video shows when Lewis kidnapped Barbosa about 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 1 outside of a home along Northwest 15th Terrace, between Northwest Seventh Street and Sistrunk Boulevard, records show.

According to his obituary, Barbosa was born in Campinas, Brazil, graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 2001, and earned two bachelor’s degrees from Pennsylvania State University.

Barbosa was 6-foot 1-inch tall and had some jiu-jitsu training. Lewis is 5-foot 5 tall and 140 pounds. Lewis was holding a firearm, police said. Barbosa didn’t fight back when Lewis ordered him to get back in his BMW, police said.

Lewis ordered him to make two $500 withdrawals about 4:40 p.m. from a Bank of America ATM on Sistrunk Boulevard and Northwest Sixth Avenue, records show. According to Almanzar, Lewis was in the front passenger seat when he shot Barbosa.

Officers found Barbosa dead at 500 NW 19th Ave. The BMW ran over a chain-link fence and crashed into a palm tree in front of a home. Lewis ran out of the car, records show. Surveillance video shows him running on Northwest 18th Avenue, police said.

Detectives said confidential informants helped to identify the teenager, so officers arrested him on unrelated charges on Feb. 4 and seized his cell phone, records show. On Feb. 12, detectives visited Cross Creek School and met with witnesses who confirmed his identity.

According to Almanzar, the cell phone’s internal timeline confirmed Lewis was at the bank and at the crash site on Feb. 1. Records show it also revealed that on Feb. 2 the phone’s user searched for a Local10.com story: “Man shot multiple times crashes car into front yard of Fort Lauderdale home before dying.”

Local 10 News is naming the teenager because prosecutors are charging him as an adult.

About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.