Bravo Trial Day 10: Family Reacts To Guilty Verdict
Published August 16th, 2014
Gainesville - Two Florida families have been anxiously awaiting a verdict over the slain University of Florida student Christian Aguilar. Jurors deliberated for three hours and fifteen minutes to come up with their verdict. They had access to all the evidence presented in court: receipts, suicide notes, letters, journal entries, including graphic content of Aguilar's remains--a memory that will never be erased from the minds of the Aguilar family.
"Sick? I can call him sick right now, but in reality, they already labeled him, murderer," said Carlos Aguilar, Christian's father. Two families have lost their son in two very different ways. One will spend his life in prison while the other will never come back.
"You can only heal so much when you have somebody to heal and you don't know what's going to happen to them. You don't know if they're going to go free, you don't know if they're going to spend the rest of their life in jail," said Alex, Christian's brother.
After twenty two days that he went missing, hunters found Christian Aguilar's remains in a wooded area in Levy county. After two weeks of testimony, jurors found Pedro Bravo guilty on all seven charges, including first degree murder and poisoning.
"And in the state of Florida the law that awaits the crime of first degree murder is life in prison. So as to count one, I sentence you to natural life," said Judge James Colaw.
Bravo, devoid of emotion, stood there as his sentence was read. "You took his past, then you took his present, everything he was and you took his future, everything that he would have been. You took it all from him when you took his life," added Colaw.
Christian was a freshman at the University of Florida, his future, however, was cut short. His brother was recently accepted into UF. And while the Aguilars were hesitant to let their youngest son come to Gainesville, they weren't going to let the disheartened actions of one individual take the opportunity away.
"It's sort of this empty feeling being here, in the same university… The knowing what could've been and what will be, which is that he's not here," said Alex.
Carlos says that till this day Bravo continues to threaten his family. Just recently bravo tried to reach out to them on Facebook, by "poking" them. Carlos asked the judge for Bravo not to contact them or Erika Friman, the ex-girlfriend.
"So he's not admitting his guilt, and until he doesn't do so, I cannot forgive him," said Carlos. He also said his whole life has changed; that the family now takes daily medication to help them cope. But it's their faith in God, he said, that has helped them through these tough times.
Christian's mother Claudia said Bravo, the person who got the power of take her son's life, made the most terrible and painful decision for her and her family.
Bravo, however, said he was innocent all the way until the end. "There's no depth of words to explain this, there's no depth of words to explain two years of heartache. There's no depth of words to explain the heartache that his family, my family, and anyone involved in this has gone through. But I know in my heart, and I know in my actions that day, and I know God as well, and that they know that I did not kill Christian Aguilar."
TV20 has been following this case closely. If you have any questions, tweet me: @BecharaReports.
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