Bravo's murder trial, set for August, won't be delayed

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 5:37 p.m.

Despite fears of a delay after a new judge was assigned to the trial of Pedro Bravo in the killing of his friend, Christian Aguilar, the trial is expected to start on time next month.

Pedro A. Bravo
Pedro A. Bravo

The 20-year-old former Santa Fe College student is accused of kidnapping and killing Aguilar, an 18-year-old University of Florida student, in September 2012.

Circuit Judge James M. Colaw, who took over after Circuit Judge Ysleta McDonald retired in June, held a pretrial conference Wednesday morning with Assistant State Attorney Brian Kramer and Bravo's attorney, Michael Ruppert, at the Alachua County Courthouse.

Kramer said he and his staff are ready for the trial, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 4 and expected to last two weeks. The prosecution anticipates using about 450 physical pieces of evidence and 1,500 photographs during the trial, Kramer said.

Ruppert told Colaw that he still has a few depositions to file, but that he will be ready in time for the trial. The next hearing for the case before the trial begins is scheduled for July 30 at 9 a.m.

Aguilar was first reported missing Sept. 20, 2012, after being last seen walking with Bravo into the Best Buy store on Archer Road. Bravo was arrested by the Gainesville Police Department four days after Aguilar's disappearance based on evidence developed during their investigation.

In October 2012, two hunters found Aguilar's body partially buried in a rural area of Levy County.

Bravo faces seven charges, including homicide, kidnapping, poisoning, destroying evidence, making a false report, obstructing a criminal investigation and mishandling human remains, according to Alachua County court records.

Aguilar's father, Carlos Aguilar, said on Wednesday that his family is happy that the trial will be not be delayed.

"We're confident that God will see to it that there will be justice," he said. "(The prosecutors) are confident from the evidence and the testimonies that they have the correct person, and thanks to that, we have a sense of relief."

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