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Discovery Docs Give Look At State's Case Against Accused Rabbi Killer

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just a few weeks ago, a grand jury indicted a young teen for the 2014 murder of Rabbi Joseph Raksin in Northeast Miami-Dade.

Now CBS4 is getting a look at some of the evidence prosecutors plan to use in the case.

Most of the more than 600 pages of discovery focused on physical evidence – including the autopsy, DNA tests and fingerprints. Most of the testing cleared many friends of 15-year-old murder suspect Deandre Charles.

A witness identified Charles as one of two young men who tried to rob, and then shot and killed Rabbi Raksin, who was on his way to synagogue in Northeast Miami-Dade nearly a year and a half ago.

The 58-year-old witness told investigators, "I heard a man say, 'Help! Help!' Two time. 'Help.'"

He added, "When I opened the front door I saw two guys running, going up NE 7th Place….One of them turn and look back."

He says he saw his face and his "bright eyes."

That is the same witness who drew the rudimentary picture of the suspect, which State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle displayed during a news conference about Charles' arrest.

"(The murder) was mean, cold. He didn't have any money on him so he shot and killed him. Just as sad as that," said Fernandez Rundle in December.

Prosecutors also plan to present DNA evidence in their case against Charles.

After testing several other suspects supposedly part of his group of friends, Charles was the only one who could not be excluded from a DNA sample from the Rabbi's right sleeve.

The autopsy shows Raksin was shot on the right side of his body.

DNA may also link Charles to parts of the murder weapon.

According to the forensics report, "a mixture of DNA profiles was obtained from the swabbing of the magazine extension and follower. The DNA profile obtained from De'Andre Charles is included as a possible contributor to the profile obtained in the mixture."

Charles spoke with investigators twice during a 16-month long investigation.

He voluntarily gave the DNA sample prosecutors hope will convict him.

In interviews with police five days after the murder, Charles said the day of the shooting "he was home all day with his siblings. He reiterated he did not ever leave his residence on the date in question… that he had no knowledge of the death of Joseph Raksin."

His family members are adamant he is innocent.

"My son was here that day...I was at work and all my kids were here on that Saturday," said his mother Blair Charles on the day of his arrest.

Using a K9, police found a .45 caliber handgun in a dresser drawer inside Charles' Miami Gardens home. There were no traces of his DNA however on the bullet casings left behind in the Rabbi's murder.

The State Attorney said phone records would also play a role in their case. At this point those records have not been released.

Police are still looking to make two more arrests in this case. Charles' next court date is January 15th.

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