Henry Lee Lewis III, a 15-year-old Florida boy, was charged with murder after he allegedly kidnapped a man at gunpoint and then fatally shot him, authorities said.
Lewis was wearing a mask and brandishing a firearm when he allegedly took Stefano Barbosa, a 37-year-old real estate agent, hostage Feb. 1, according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Lewis instructed Barbosa to drive to a bank nearby to withdraw $1,000 from an ATM, investigators claimed after reviewing bank statements, Fox News reported.
NEW DETAILS: Here’s what we know about Stefano Barbosa, the Fort Lauderdale real estate agent who was kidnapped, robbed at an ATM and shot to death — allegedly by a 15-year-old boy. https://t.co/nZiniP47q4
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) March 9, 2021
Barbosa was then forced to drive a few miles away from the bank. His vehicle crashed through a fence and into a tree after Lewis shot him in the chest point-blank, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Investigators said Lewis fled the scene on foot, according to Fox News.
Lewis was identified as a suspect by school workers from surveillance video, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Police already had Lewis in custody on unrelated charges when he was identified as the possible perpetrator.
When he was 12-years-old, Lewis faced a firearms-related charge, according to Fox News. Lewis will now be facing charges of second-degree murder and armed robbery — as an adult — and a judge has ordered him to be held without bond, Fox News reported. (RELATED: 15-Year-Old Charged With Stabbing Younger Siblings On A Playground)
“These types of decisions are very difficult to make but I believe this is the correct decision in this case and in these circumstances,” Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor said in a statement regarding the decision to prosecute Lewis as an adult, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“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. If this case were to be handled as a juvenile matter, he would have to be released from the juvenile justice system at age 18,” he added.
Lewis entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday, Fox News reported.