MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Police and prosecutors say Deandre Charles is a cold-blooded killer who shot Rabbi Joseph Raksin after trying to rob him and getting away with nothing. But during two interrogations with police that were released through court discovery, Charles is heard maintaining his innocence in multiple interviews with detectives.
In late May of 2015, Miami-Dade Detectives sat down with Charles. They suspected him of murdering Raksin during a botched robbery in Northeast Miami nearly a year before. Charles was only 14 at the time. Investigators confronted the teen with testimony from an eyewitness.
“How would you explain that?” a detective asks him.
“I don’t know. I was not there. I would explain it like – I was not there. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I don’t have no clue what he’s talking about,” Charles responds.
Detectives also told Charles that they have physical evidence linking him to the crime.
“There’s something on that scene that we recovered with your partial DNA on it.”
“Lies,” Charles snapped back.
“I’m not lying to you,” the detective followed up.
“I want to see that DNA right now. I didn’t have no DNA because I was not there,” Charles responds. “That’s just a false, plain false right there.”
Crime scene reports released earlier this week show that Charles’ DNA could not be excluded from a DNA sample taken from the right sleeve of the rabbi’s clothing.
Reports also show that Charles’ DNA might have been found on the gun.
But at the time of the questioning, Charles remained adamant about his innocence and swore that he was at home when the Rabbi was murdered.
“What I’m trying to tell you is y’all got the wrong guy,” Charles said.
Fast forward 7 months, Miami-Dade Police arrested Charles and once again tried to get a confession.
“I didn’t leave the house that morning,” Charles said.
Detectives made it seem that Charles admitted prior to the recording that he was at the scene of the crime. But once cameras rolled he denied it.
“Just by your mere presence there, you’re involved. And I know that you don’t want to snitch because you said you don’t want the streets to know you’re snitching,” a detective is heard telling Charles.
“It’s not even about the snitching. I told you everything right now,” Charles said.
Charles stuck to his story throughout.
“I don’t have nothing to do with it,” Charles said. “If I would have known something about that murder, I swear I wasn’t even there the day of the murder, man.”
For much of the time detectives left Charles alone, he slept and sat and then an officer came in to take his mug shot and prepare him to be sent to jail for first-degree murder.
Charles is due back in court next week. Investigators say they believe at least two other people were involved in the murder. Detectives hope to make additional arrests.