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John Jonchuck

John Jonchuck was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier in April for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge in 2015.
Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times pool photo

John Jonchuck, who was found guilty of first-degree murder for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge four years ago, is asking for a new trial.

John Jonchuck is fingerprinted by deputies after he was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Pinellas County jury in the death of her 5-year-old daughter four years ago.
Scott Keeler/ Tampa Bay Times Pool Photo

A Pinellas County jury on Tuesday found John Jonchuck guilty of first-degree murder for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge four years ago, despite arguments from his attorneys that he was insane and thought his actions would actually save her. He was automatically sentenced to life in prison.

John Jonchuck was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier in April for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge in 2015.
Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times pool photo

A Pinellas County man who threw his 5-year-old daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge four years ago knew what he was doing was wrong and should be found guilty of first-degree murder, a prosecutor told jurors Monday during closing arguments of his trial.

Jurors in the John Jonchuck trial on Monday began debating whether he was insane or not when he threw his daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge four years ago.
Pinellas County Jail

The trial of a Pinellas County man accused of killing his five-year-old daughter by throwing her off a bridge is temporarily on hold.

John Jonchuck's lawyers claimed Tuesday that their client has been suffering from “auditory hallucinations” – hearing voices in court and in jail the last few days.

Jurors in the John Jonchuck trial on Monday began debating whether he was insane or not when he threw his daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge four years ago.
Pinellas County Jail

A murder trial is moving forward for a man who threw his 5-year-old daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge. 

Jonchuck family photo

No one disputes John Jonchuck dropped his 5-year-old daughter from a St. Petersburg bridge to her death four years ago, but whether he is a murderer or insane will soon be up to a jury to decide.

Hillsborough County Jail

Florida's child welfare department says a previous investigation of a mother charged with drowning her 4-year-old autistic daughter in a river was handled correctly.

Hillsborough County Jail

A Tampa woman is being held without bond on first-degree murder charges after she allegedly dragged her 4-year-old daughter into the Hillsborough River and left the girl to drown.

Trial Set For Father Accused Of Throwing Daughter Off Bridge

Mar 28, 2017
Flickr

A trial date has been set for a Florida man accused of throwing his young daughter to her death off a Tampa Bay area bridge.

Father Accused In Bridge Death Still Incompetent For Trial

Feb 24, 2016

A judge says a man accused of throwing his daughter from a Tampa Bay bridge is still not competent to stand trial.

It's the third time since January 2015 that a judge has declared John Jonchuck mentally incapable of standing trial for the death of 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck.

Eckerd College

When something bad happens on the waters near south Saint Petersburg - say a boat breaks down or someone jumps from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge - odds are pretty good that the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team (EC-SAR) will be the first ones on scene.

The St. Petersburg-based school has the only all-volunteer student marine search and rescue team anywhere in the country.

Florida lawmakers are looking into reforms related to mental health and substance abuse issues and how it relates to the state’s child welfare system.

A panel of Florida lawmakers got an update Tuesday on a report, detailing what led to the tragic death of a little girl last month.

In early January, Phoebe Jonchuck’s father allegedly threw her from a bridge during what appears to be a psychotic episode. A detailed report shows the state’s abuse hotline missed two opportunities, warning of Phoebe’s father mental state. And, Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll says he’s now looking into a number of areas to improve—like tracking the number of screened out calls.

 After John Jonchuck was accused of throwing his 5-year-old daughter Phoebe off a Pinellas County bridge last month, The Florida Department of Children and Families deployed a Critical Incident Rapid Response Team to investigate the agency's handling of the case.

The two high profile death incidents that occurred in recent months has already spurred a number of changes to Florida’s child welfare agency. That was part of an update two panels in the House and Senate received Thursday as part of a presentation looking at a new law overhauling the agency.

As the Florida Legislature returns next week, a bipartisan duo of lawmakers could be looking at making some more changes on top of a new law overhauling Florida’s child welfare agency. It could include changes to the state’s abuse hotline, after the recent tragic death of a five-year-old girl whose father is accused of throwing her over a bridge.

“She was my world. I truly, truly loved her,” said a tearful Michele Jonchuck. “She was an angel. She loved school. She loved to crack jokes. She liked to be helpful to the other children at school.”

 A father accused of throwing his 5-year-old daughter off of a bridge to her death last week was ordered Monday to undergo a mental health evaluation and was appointed a public defender.

John Jonchuck appeared to refuse to answer questions during the hearing in Pinellas County. When a judge asked Jonchuck at a first appearance hearing last week if he wanted a court-appointed attorney, Jonchuck said he wanted to "leave it in the hands of God."

Jonchuck family photo

St. Petersburg police detectives want to talk to members of the clergy who spoke with John Jonchuck, as well as anyone else who saw the man in the hours before he allegedly killed his five-year-old daughter Phoebe Wednesday.

Investigators say Jonchuck may have spoken with members of the clergy or churches in the Tampa Bay area in the days before he allegedly dropped his daughter off a bridge after a short chase involving law enforcement.

Just 12 hours before police said John Jonchuck threw his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge - perhaps while she was still alive - the father calmly told a sheriff's deputy he didn't want to hurt himself or his little girl and had "new clarity in his life."