MIAMI — As the 17-year-old charged in the fatal stabbing of a Coral Gables High School classmate made his first appearance in court Wednesday, students at the school grappled with the loss of a classmate.
On the high school campus at 450 Bird Rd. students wore black and placed flowers in the courtyard where Juan Carlos Rivera, 17, was stabbed to death.
The morning announcements offered condolences for Rivera, showing a picture of the slain teen with the message, "RIP Juan Carlos Rivera.''
History teacher and Coral Gables alumnus Daniel Blackmon told a morning class: "Yesterday was the worst day in Gables history.''
On the Facebook page R.I.P. Juan Carlos Rivera, students who knew him, and others who didn't, offered their condolences.
Meanwhile, Circuit Judge Orlando Prescott ordered accused killer, Andy Rodriguez, 17, held in detention until Oct. 6.
Rodriguez was charged late Tuesday night with second-degree murder in the killing of Rivera.
In court Wednesday, prosecutors announced they would take the case to the grand jury, meaning a possible first-degree murder indictment in felony adult court.
Police and witnesses told The Miami Herald Rodriguez pulled a blade on Rivera and stabbed him three times — once in the chest, once in the collarbone and once near the stomach — Tuesday morning on the school grounds.
Rodriguez's grandmother, who did not identify herself, told Judge Prescott that her grandson, who was born in Havana, had never gotten into trouble.
"He's been a hard-working child ever since he arrived [from Cuba],'' she said. "He used to work at the flea market.'' Rodriguez has no prior criminal history, the public defender's office told the judge.
His family refused to talk to reporters in court.