STARKE, Fla. – A man was executed Wednesday night in Florida for raping and killing a 9-year-old boy 18 years ago, a death that spurred the victim’s parents to press nationwide for stronger sexual predator confinement laws and better handling of child abduction cases.
Juan Carlos Chavez, 46, was pronounced dead at 8:17 p.m. Wednesday after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, according to Gov. Rick Scott’s office.
Chavez made no final statement in the death chamber, but did submit a statement laced with religious references in writing. He moved his feet frequently after the injection began at 8:02 p.m. but two minutes later stopped moving.
Chavez abducted Jimmy Ryce at gunpoint after the boy got off a school bus Sept. 11, 1995, in rural Miami-Dade County. Testimony showed Chavez raped the boy, shot him when he tried to escape, then dismembered his body and hid the parts in concrete-covered planters.