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12-Year-Old Survives Attack By Playing Dead After Father Fatally Stabs 3-Year-Old Sister

Juan Bravo-Torres

Juan Bravo-Torres murdered his daughter Eva Bravo-Herrera, prosecutors say. (Mugshot via Seminole County Jail)

A father will spend the rest of his days in prison after he admitted in court to stabbing his 3-year-old daughter to death and trying to kill her 12-year-old sister.

In exchange for defendant Juan Bravo-Torres, 39, pleading guilty on Wednesday, prosecutors out of Seminole County, Florida, will decline to seek the death penalty for the murder of Eva Bravo-Herrera, 3.

Authorities reasoned it was for the best, noting that the surviving child would have had to testify if this went to trial. According to cops, the 12-year-old girl woke up to find her father attacking her and she said that she saw her sister on the hallway floor. In avoiding trial, authorities hope to spare her from having to relive the tragic early morning of July 21, 2022.

“We believe that Juan BRAVO-TORRES’ horrific, calculated, and premeditated actions in the killing of Eva Bravo Herrera are deserving of asking a jury to impose the death penalty,” State Attorney Phil Archer said in a statement. “However, in reaching this difficult decision we placed great weight on the desire of the mother to consider the potential trauma a trial would impose on her daughter. Our law enforcement partners supported this resolution and as a result my office has filed its intent to waive the death penalty in exchange for a guilty plea and life sentence. However, we will vigorously contest any effort to parole, pardon or release BRAVO-TORRES prior to his death in state prison, should it ever arise.”

Circuit Judge Melissa Souto sentenced Bravo-Torres to life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree premeditated murder and 30 years behind bars for attempted first-degree premeditated murder.

As previously reported, cops said that the 12-year-old woke up to find Bravo-Torres attacking her with a knife. At first she believed he was reaching for her necklace, but he instead sliced her throat, officers said. Defendant Bravo-Torres allegedly then went to get another knife.

Injured, she managed to leave her room but found young Eva on the hallway floor.

“The victim stated her dad came at her with a knife but that she fought him back and eventually acted as if she was dead in hopes he would stop attacking her,” police said. “The victim stated that after she played dead, her father dragged her and her little sister into the hall bathroom. The victim stated her dad turned off the lights in the bathroom but that she witnessed him cut his wrists and heard what sounded like he was cutting his throat.”

Bravo-Torres’ Seminole County mugshot show injuries to his neck and upper chest.

According to cops, the 12-year-old laid there and waited for her father to fall unconscious. Once she believed he was out, she took the knife for protection and left home for the McDonald’s where her mother worked. Officers first responded to the restaurant and then later checked out the family home. The front door was unlocked.

“Officers found an extensive amount of blood just inside the residence and began to search the residence for injured person(s),” police said. “Officers located a male subject in the bathroom suffering from extensive injuries to the torso of his body. This subject was unconscious. Officers also located a female juvenile approx. 3 years of age, in this same bathroom, who was apparently deceased.”

Prosecutors presented four aggravating factors for seeking the death penalty: 1) Eva was less than 12 years of age; 2) Bravo-Torres was previously convicted of another capital felony, or “a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person”; 3) “The capital felony was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel”; and 4) “The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.”


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