Teens accused in Homestead break-in face judge

MIAMI (WSVN) - Two teenage boys accused of burglarizing a home in Homestead faced a judge on Wednesday, and the homeowner they allegedly targeted showed up to face them in court.

7News cameras showed Brianna Jefferson sitting in a downtown Miami courtroom as Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria de Jesus Santovenia addressed one of the teens.

“I am placing you on home detention,” said Santovenia. “Home detention means that you do not leave your house 24 hours a day while you’re on home detention.”

No official charges were filed at Wednesday’s hearings, but Santovenia issued two stay away orders requiring the teen sentenced to home detention and to refrain from contacting the victim or the other suspect.

Brianna Jefferson

Jefferson said she is still reeling from Thursday’s break-in. “I was shocked that someone would walk around in my house and act like it was their own home,” she said.

Surveillance video captured the subjects rummaging through the home, turning over couch cushions as they searched for valuables.

Jefferson said she had recently moved into the residence, located in the area of Southeast 13th Road and 31st Court. “I was like, ‘Oh, I’m making my house feel more like a home,’ and you tore that away from me and my kids,” she said.

The homeowner said tips poured in after 7News aired surveillance footage of the burglary. “You can see a clear view of their faces,” she told 7News on Monday. “It’s like they never even noticed the camera was there.”

Police took the teens into custody shortly after.

Detectives said the suspects stole jewelry and electronics, including a tablet with the only video of Jefferson’s late stepfather dancing with her at her wedding.

The tablet has since been recovered, but the video has been erased. Police are attempting to retrieve the wedding footage.

Meanwhile, Jefferson hopes the teens have learned a valuable lesson. “I’m happy that it probably stopped right here, and they will learn a lesson instead of them being tried as adults,” she said. “Maybe this will help them to turn their lives around.”

The second teen remains behind bars and was appointed a public defender. The state may be looking to prosecute him as an adult. He is not required to attend the next hearing, which has been scheduled for July 27.

Jefferson said she plans to attend all of the teens’ upcoming court appearances. “You didn’t think about if my kids were in there, if I was in there,” she said. “You broke into my house and walked around my house, and you completely violated me. I can’t take that feeling back, and that’s what worries me most. I keep on looking out my window, looking out my window every five minutes.”

 

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