UPDATE: 10:30 P.M.
The jury found Pedro Bravo guilty of first degree murder in the killing of Christian Aguilar. He was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Its every parents worst nightmare: To send your adolescent off to college only to find they were murdered. Christian Aguilars parents had to relive the pain of hearing testimony of their sons death in a Florida courtroom, after he was found dead while attending school at the University of Florida. Now they await deliberations from a jury after the murder trial went into closing arguments in a Gainesville courtroom on Friday.
SEE ALSO: Student Christian Aguilar, gone too soon
Accused murderer Pedro Bravo took the witness stand Thursday to tell his version of events in the disappearance and death of his once-close friend from high school. These were the first comments Bravo made publicly since Aguilar was found dead.
Chris [Aguilar] was someone I could open to, Bravo said on the stand.
“The Miami Herald” described his testimony as sounding conversational at times, occasionally lacing his comments with nervous laughter.
Bravo testified how on the afternoon of September 20, 2012 he needed to talk to Aguilar because his emotional problems were mounting and was considering suicide; part of the problem he admits, is that Aguilar was dating his ex-girlfriend Erika Friman.
He testified that he had been having dark thought since middle school and had actually attempted suicide 10 to 12 times. The Miami Heralds Audra D.S. Burch reported.
However, the conversation turned into a fight between Aguilar and Bravo, which is when Bravo says he pushed Aguilar and struck him in the face, leaving him lying on the asphalt in the rain.
Bravo claims his intention was never to kill his friend, but prosecutors paint a different picture, one of premeditated murder.
He literally bought the murderer’s starter pack, said prosecutor Bill Ezzell.
Video and receipts from a store Bravo allegedly went to before the murder indicate he bought a shovel, two different types of sleeping pills a roll of duct tape and a knife before Aguilars disappearance.
Aguilar, Friman and Bravo all attended and knew each other from Doral Academy in Miami, but things apparently turned sour since then.
Aguilar had gone missing after visiting a local Best Buy store to by CDs, which prompted a search that was publicized nationwide, employing volunteers from Miamiwhere Aguilar is original fromand Gainesville. His body was found 22 days later, bound with duct tape, face down in Levy County, about an hour away from Gainesville.
SEE ALSO: The true impact of depression in the US