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Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty Against Man Accused of Murdering 3-Year-Old Daughter and Trying to Kill 12-Year-Old

Juan Bravo-Torres

Juan Bravo-Torres

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a man who allegedly attacked his two young daughters in a bloody, fatal stabbing. Juan Bravo-Torres, 39, was indicted on Wednesday for a count each of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

Authorities presented four aggravating factors in seeking the death penalty. The fourth factor reads as follows: “The victim of the capital felony was a person less than 12 years of age.”  Prosecutors identified the slain child as Eva Bravo-Herrera, 3. Her 12-year-old sister survived, albeit in critical condition.

The three other aggravating factors are:

  • Juan Bravo-Torres was previously convicted of another capital felony, or “a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person.”
  • “The capital felony was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.”
  • “The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.”

The surviving 12-year-old girl woke up last month to find her father attacking her with a knife, police have said. At first she believed he was reaching for her necklace, but he instead sliced her throat, officers said. Defendant Bravo-Torres allegedly went to get another knife.

The girl left the room and found her younger sister — now identified as 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.”

The 12-year-old lay there, waiting for the suspect to fall unconscious, officers said. Once she believed he was out, she took the knife for protection, locked the bathroom from the inside, and fled to the McDonald’s where her mother worked, cops said.

It was there where officers said they first responded. Cops ended up at the family home and discovered the front door 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.”

Bravo-Torres missed a court date last month because he had to undergo “emergency surgery.” An apparent scar is visible below his neck in his current Seminole County mugshot. He remains locked up on the case as well on an ICE detainer, records show.

The suspect pleaded not guilty on July 27, records show. His arraignment is set for Aug. 30. The public defender’s office that represents Bravo-Torres did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment on prosecutors seeking the death penalty.

[Mugshot via Seminole County Jail]

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