Closing Arguments Begin in Bravo's Murder Trial

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

News Release: Associated Press
August 15, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Presenting a detailed timeline of murder defendant Pedro Bravo's actions and words before and after University of Florida student Christian Aguilar was slain, prosecutors delivered closing arguments in the case.

Prosecutor Bill Ezzell on Friday walked jurors through a number of purchases Bravo made in the days before Aguilar died on Sept. 20, 2012: duct tape, a shovel, sleeping medications and a hunting knife.

Calling the purchases a "murderer's starting pack," Ezzell highlighted for jurors the many lies Bravo told police about his interactions with Aguilar.

Bravo first told police Aguilar had left his car angry, but unharmed. Later he said he hit Aguilar multiple times.

Prosecutors say Bravo strangled Aguilar because he was dating Bravo's ex-girlfriend.

Bravo has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.


News Release: Associated Press
August 13, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A former cellmate says Pedro Bravo described to him how he killed a University of Florida student, and asked for his help in covering it up.

Michael Angelo, a convicted gang member turned jailhouse informant, testified Wednesday in Gainesville that Bravo told him he watched 13 minutes tick off his car's clock while he strangled Christian Aguilar to death in September 2012.

Angelo says when Bravo arrived at the jail he cried often and spent his time staring at the ceiling. He said Bravo asked him for a pencil to write a suicide letter and for Angelo's shoelace so he could commit suicide.

Prosecutors say Bravo wrote the letter, which was found by a guard.

In it Bravo said he was "a monster for hurting Chris the way I did."


News Release: Associated Press
August 8, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Two hunters who discovered the bones of a slain 18-year-old University of Florida student told jurors they were drawn by a strong smell to the densely wooded area where the body was buried.

Hunter Jesse Everidge testified Friday at Pedro Bravo's murder trial that he was looking for medicinal herbs in a wooded area when he noticed the smell of death.

Everidge said he immediately called 911 after following the stench and finding a human skull in the dirt.

The remains were eventually identified as those of Christian Aguilar, a UF student who was dating Bravo's ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors say a jealous Bravo murdered Aguilar and buried his body in those woods.

Bravo denies it, saying the two fought and parted ways before Aguilar went missing.


News Release: Associated Press
August 6, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- At times fighting through tears, the former girlfriend of a slain University of Florida student said her boyfriend expressed concerns before meeting up with her ex, who is on trial for killing him.

Erika Friman testified Wednesday in the murder trial of Pedro Bravo, who prosecutors say strangled Christian Aguilar to death in September 2012 because of his obsession with Friman.

Friman says she was shocked when Bravo moved to Gainesville from Miami and lied to him about dating Aguilar so she didn't "push him over the edge."

Later she helped coordinate a meeting between the two men, so Aguilar could help Bravo work through depression.

Friman and Aguilar had plans later that night for dinner, but he never showed.

Bravo is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges.


News Release: Associated Press
August 5, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Prosecutors say a 20-year-old Miami man orchestrated a plan to kill a University of Florida student because of an obsession with a girl who had dumped him for the victim.

During opening statements Tuesday in a Gainesville courtroom, prosecutor Brian Kramer said Pedro Bravo researched ways to kill and get away with it before drugging and strangling 18-year-old Christian Aguilar in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Kramer showed photographs of Bravo buying duct tape and a shovel from Lowe's -- the same duct tape prosecutors say was found on Aguilar's remains.

Prosecutors say Bravo drove Aguilar's body to a wooded area and buried it before getting his car washed.

Kramer says Aguilar's blood and DNA were found in Bravo's SUV.

Bravo faces seven charges including homicide, poisoning and mishandling human remains.


News Release: Associated Press
August 4, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) --The trial of a Miami man charged in the 2012 death of a University of Florida student is set to start Monday.

The Gainesville Sun reports that Pedro Bravo, 20, faces life in prison if convicted of killing 18-year-old Christian Aguilar.

A massive search began when Aguilar was reported missing in September 2012. His body was later discovered by hunters in a rural area of Levy County.

Bravo faces seven charges, including homicide, kidnapping, poisoning, making a false report, obstructing a criminal investigation, destroying evidence and mishandling human remains.


GAINESVILLE, Florida -- September 29, 2012

Pedro Bravo has been formally charged with first-degree murder in the case of a missing University of Florida student during his first court appearance.

The state argued Bravo should be charged with murder because he previously said he beat 18-year-old Christian Aguilar until he was bloody, swollen and barely breathing.

The Miami Herald reports Bravo stared straight-faced into the jail camera during the proceedings. He was denied bond.

A family friend also read a statement from Aguilar's father during the hearing.

Meanwhile Gov. Rick Scott joined the massive search for Aguilar.

Police say Aguilar was last seen Sept. 20 at a Gainesville Best Buy store with Bravo. Police believe they may have been fighting over a girl.

Meanwhile Gov. Rick Scott joined the massive search for the victim.


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