Juan Carlos Chavez was executed in Florida on Wednesday night for a crime he committed 18 years ago. Chavez remained silent as he approached the death chamber. The execution was delayed two hours due to a reconsideration appeal to the Supreme Court for a request for stay, which was denied. Chavez was found guilty of kidnapping, sexual battery, and the murder of a young boy.
On September 11, 1995, 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce went missing. The child’s disappearance sparked an investigation across South Florida that spanned months. Police finally caught up with Chavez, who confessed to abducting, raping, and killing Ryce.
Three months after the boy’s abduction, Chavez’s landlady found evidence in a trailer where Chavez was staying. She discovered Ryce’s bag and her own revolver, which Chavez has stolen from her home and used as the murder weapon. Police interrogated Chavez, which led to his confession. Chavez then led the police to the location of Ryce’s remains, which were placed in planters and sealed with concrete.
Since the murder, Ryce’s parents have focused their attention on turning the death of their son into something positive. They started a foundation geared towards implementing stronger rulings and procedures when it comes to missing child cases. The foundation has also contributed canines to assist officers when looking for children who are missing.
Hours before the execution, a spiritual advisor visited Chavez who was reported to appear calm. His last meal consisted of French fries, a ribeye steak, strawberry ice cream, mango juice, and a fruit cup.
At 8:02 p.m. on Wednesday, Chavez lay on the gurney in the death chamber awaiting his execution with his ankles and wrists strapped and a sheet covering his body. Chavez refused to make a final statement. The drugs were then injected into his arms, and he was dead within a few minutes. The corrections official announced Chavez’s official time of death at 8:17 p.m.
Execution press conference
Image via YouTube