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December 9, 2015 2:54 pm

Miami Teen Indicted for 2014 Murder of Rabbi on Way to Synagogue

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Rabbi Joseph Raksin was killed on his way to synagogue last year. Photo: Crownheights.info.

Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who was killed on his way to synagogue last year. Photo: Crownheights.info.

A Florida teenager was arrested on Wednesday for the murder last year of a rabbi on his way to synagogue, the Miami Herald reported.

Deandre Charles, 15, was brought to Miami-Dade police headquarters for questioning by homicide detectives, police said. He is suspected of the Aug. 9, 2014 killing of Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who had been visiting Florida when he was shot on his way to Shabbat services at Bais Menachem Chabad.

It is believed that Raksin, an Orthodox rabbi — who therefore was not carrying money that day — was the target of a robbery.

A grand jury indicted Charles, who was 14 at the time of the shooting, and charged him with first-degree murder. Law-enforcement sources said DNA and eyewitness testimony pointed to Charles as the perpetrator. State records show the teen had a previous brush with the law in August 2012, when he was arrested for grand theft in Miami Beach.

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“We’ve heard about the case previously, of course if they did this, they’ve been investigating this prior,” said Charles’ stepfather, Willis Archibald. “So they did investigate him. They spoke to him a few times prior, last year, and they made it seem like everything was over, everything was fine and now this.”

Yona Lunger, a Miami-Dade Jewish community activist and member of the neighborhood watch group Shmira Patrol, said Wednesday morning that “a weight was lifted off everyone’s shoulders” following the suspect’s arrest.

“Everyone was talking about it in shul [temple] this morning,” he said. “It couldn’t be better timing than to happen during Hanukkah, when each day was a miracle.”

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