Photo: Longwood Police Department / Courtesy
The Florida prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the father accused of stabbing his 3-year-old daughter to death and stabbing her older sisterwho described in harrowing detail how she survived by playing dead.
Juan Bravo-Torres, 39, was indicted Tuesday on first-degree premeditated murder charges. and attempted murder stemming from the inconceivable attack on his children on July 21 in Longwood.
Apparently, father tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists and throat after allegedly killing his young daughteridentified in court documents as Eva Bravo-Herrera, but survived and was jailed.
The State Attorney’s Office then filed a notice of intent to seek capital punishment on Tuesday, citing several aggravating factors in the case, including claims that the felony was “especially heinous or cruel,” that it was committed cold and calculated and premeditated without any moral or legal justification,” and that the victim was a girl under 12 years of age.
The deadly domestic incident was described in harrowing detail in an affidavit filed last month, describing how Bravo-Torres’ 12-year-old daughter, bloodied and injured, walked a mile to a McDonald’s where her mother works for help.
When police arrived on scene, they found a large amount of blood inside and later located Bravo-Torres unconscious in the bathroom with extensive gashes to his torso.
In the same bathroom, police found her 3-year-old daughter, Eva, dead from stab wounds.
When detectives interviewed Bravo-Torres’s oldest daughter, the 12-year-old girl told them she was sleeping in her sister’s room when her father grabbed her by the neck.
“The victim said she thought he was reaching for her necklace, but her father slit her throat.”he said in the affidavit.
The girl said that when Bravo-Torres left to get another knife, she used that time to flee the bedroom. In the hallway, the girl said that she found her younger sister lying on the floor.
“The victim said that her father approached her with a knife, but she fought back and eventually acted like she was dead in hopes that he would stop attacking her,” she said in her statement.
According to the girl, after “playing dead,” Bravo-Torres dragged her and 3-year-old Eva into the bathroom, turned off the lights, and proceeded to cut her wrists and throat.
The 12-year-old girl told police she stood there waiting for her father to pass out before grabbing the knife he had allegedly used to attack her and ran to her mother’s work for help.
Longwood Police Sgt. Derek Chenoweth later praised the 12-year-old for her quick thinking and her bravery under dire circumstances.
“The amount of courage this 12-year-old had is just remarkable,” he said.
“Adults may not have been able to make that decision. And this 12-year-old girl did that, and she is alive today because of the decisions that she made.”