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Public Defender: Teen, 15, Accused Of Killing Real Estate Broker Stefano Barbosa Should Have Been At Mental Treatment Center

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The murder case against a 15-year-old accused of killing a real estate agent was thrown into a tailspin Thursday when the public defender told a judge that the death was avoidable.

Back on February first, Fort Lauderdale police say the teen, Henry Lee Lewis held the victim at gunpoint in his car and forced him to withdraw money from an ATM.

During a struggle, they say Lewis shot and killed 37-year-old real estate broker Stefano Barbosa.

Barbosa crashed his car through a fence and was found dead behind the wheel.

The Broward state attorney decided to charge Lewis as an adult.

But in court Thursday at his arraignment, the public defender told a judge that Lewis was 'adjudicated incompetent' by a Broward judge in October 2020.

The judge ordered Lewis to be 'involuntarily' committed to a northwest Florida youth camp where his mental health was to be addressed.

The public defender said Lewis was in the care of the Department of Children and Families but the placement never happened.

On top of that, the public defender chastised the Broward School system for not giving Lewis the services he was entitled to at a special school for kids with emotional and behavioral issues.

The public defender said Lewis was consistently absent from the school but it wasn't addressed.

The judge ordered a new mental health evaluation for Lewis later this month.

The outcome will determine what's next for the teenager who is being held at the Paul Rein detention center in Pompano Beach.

It's being viewed as a test case for new Broward state attorney Harold Pryor who campaigned for massive juvenile justice reform before his election last fall.

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