Family grieves after teens’ deadly crime spree in Broward

A 15-year-old driver and a 13-year-old passenger are accused of causing the death of a 35-year-old mother of three.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two teenage boys’ crime spree in Broward County turned tragic on Sunday morning when a crash — while they were trying to get away from police — killed Maria Tellez-Vaderrabano, a 35-year-old single mother of three, police said.

The two teens, Jacory Flournoy, 13, and Jah’Kobe Bessent, 15, are accused of breaking into a home while the residents were sleeping, stealing a white Mercedes-Benz, and crashing during a police chase.

Officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department followed the Mercedes-Benz when it collided with two vehicles at the intersection of Oakland Park Boulevard and Northwest Ninth Avenue.

Jacory Flournoy, 13, and Jah’Kobe Bessent, 15, appeared in Broward County juvenile court on Tuesday to face charges in their recent crime spree, prosecutors said. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

Jah’Kobe is accused of driving the car that fled, but deputies later found them and arrested them, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Detectives also accused Jacory and Jah’Kobe of several car thefts in Fort Lauderdale. The boys appeared in court on Tuesday.

Edras Lopez Esteban said his sister, who is pregnant, was among the five injured in the crash. Tellez-Vaderrabano died at a nearby hospital. She is the mother of 15-year-old Samantha, 13-year-old Michael, and 12-year-old Yvonne.

Tellez-Vaderrabano’s 13-year-old son Michael said his single mother left him with many lessons that he and his sisters will never forget.

“She was a positive role model. She always showed us that working hard can get you where you want to be,” Michael said.

From left, Maria Tellez-Vaderrabano's children, 12-year-old Yvonne, 13-year-old Michael, and 15-year-old Samantha, and her half-sister Emily Feria talk to Local 10 News. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

Tellez-Vaderrabano’s half-sister Emily Feria said she was already grieving another relative, Maria Armandina Zevallos Solis, who was killed in June after a bus ran her over in Fort Lauderdale.

“They took my sister’s life; they took their mom’s life. We want justice for my sister,” Feria said about Tellez-Vaderrabano.

Feria said she wants Broward County prosecutors to charge Jacory and Jah’Kobe as adults. Prosecutors said they are considering it since they both have long criminal records.

“We don’t want just a slap on the hand just because they are juveniles,” Feria said. “I want them and our family wants them to be charged as an adult. We want them to pay for my sister’s death.”

Feria set up a GoFundMe page to ask the public for help with covering the cost of Tellez-Vaderrabano’s funeral and to help her kids.

“Her children were her whole world, and nothing would mean more to her than to know they are being looked after and taken care of,” Feria wrote.

Fundraiser to help the victim’s family

Watch the 4 p.m. report

A group of teenage boys is facing charges for breaking into a home while the residents were sleeping. Two of them were later involved in a fatal crash while trying to get away from police in a stolen car.

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

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.