An Upper Keys teenager accused of killing his brother with a knife and injuring his father in the early-morning hours of May 7 will be charged as an adult, the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office confirmed on Thursday.
Assistant State Attorney Gail Conolly confirmed to the Weekly that Daniel Weisberger, 17, is facing charges of second-degree murder in the homicide of his younger brother, first-degree attempted murder, aggravated battery and false imprisonment.
The charges stem from the incident that occurred at the family’s residence at Executive Bay Apartments in Islamorada. The incident took place between 4 a.m., when a neighbor heard a disturbance at the family’s apartment, and 6 a.m. when the father, 43-year-old Ariel Poholek, came to the neighbor’s door looking for help.
Weisberger fled the scene of the reported incident and remained on the run throughout the day as law enforcement agencies searched. The younger brother, 14, was pronounced dead at the scene.
It wasn’t until the evening hours that Weisberger was spotted alongside U.S. 1 near Executive Bay Apartments. That’s when witnesses say he ran into traffic and hit the side of the truck. He was subsequently airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where he’s been treated since the incident.
Conolly said several factors go into determining whether to charge a teenager as a juvenile or an adult. Weisberger turned 17 in February. Weisberger has been in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice and is still in the hospital.
“A lot goes into it, but one of the main things is obviously the seriousness of the offense,” Connolly said. “But it’s also his age because there wouldn’t be much time left for the Department of Juvenile Justice to supervise him.”
As soon as a warrant is served, Weisberger will be turned over to the custody of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Conolly said that could be sometime today.
“Miami-Dade would have to serve the warrant, so they would take custody of him. Then the normal courts would be followed where he’s then transported down here,” Connolly said.
A second-degree murder charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, under sentencing guidelines for a person with a clean record, if convicted. A first-degree attempted murder charge carries up to life in prison, if convicted.