Watch CBS News

Judge Denies Motion For New Trial In UF Student Murder

GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) - A Gainesville judge has denied a new trial for Pedro Bravo convicted of the murder of his former classmate and friend Christian Aguilar.

Lawyers for Bravo, 20, based their motion for a new trial on statements made during the sentencing of jail house Michael Angelo, a cellmate of Bravo when the two were at the Alachua County jail, according to the Gainesville Sun.

Margaret Stack, Angelo's attorney, claims prosecutor Bill Cervone called her and asked if she could try to find out where Aguilar's body had been buried.

Cervone denied making the call and said it was Stack who called him with the information. After a two hour hearing, Circuit Judge James Colaw ruled there was no basis for a new trial and denied the request.

Bravo strangled and killed Aguilar, 18, on September 20th, 2012 because of his obsession with his former girlfriend Erika Friman, who Aguilar was dating. Bravo, Aguilar and Friman all attended the Doral Academy.

Store video and receipts showed Bravo bought a shovel, two different types of sleeping pills, a roll of duct tape and a knife before Aguilar's disappearance.

According to Angelo, Bravo told him he planned the murder in advance. He said Bravo initially told him he planned to poison him, slit his throat or choke him. He said Bravo even talked about the moment he said he killed Aguilar in his SUV.

"He got out like he had to find something in the back seat, he put a moving strap behind his neck, braced hiself and it took 13 minutes to die," said Angelo.

Angelo said Bravo told him Aguilar tried to open the door once, but he just tightened his grip. Bravo then explained how he wrapped Aguilar's body in duct tape and drove about 60 miles out of town where he buried it in a shallow grave in a wooded area, according to Angelo.

In August, 2014 Bravo was found guilty of first-degree murder, false imprisonment, poisoning, tampering with physical evidence, giving false information on committing of felony, giving false information concerning a missing person case and unlawful transportation of human remains.

Bravo was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

The Gainesville Sun contributed to this report.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.