The Jimmy Ryce story was so well known, so horrible, so heartbreaking and covered almost daily that Juan Carlos Chavez, who was eventually convicted of his murder, had to be tried outside of Miami. With Chavez’s execution date approaching, jurors Greg Claus and Laura Moreno spoke with NBC 6.
The Jimmy Ryce story was so well known, so horrible, so heartbreaking and covered almost daily that the accused murderer Juan Carlos Chavez had to be tried outside of Miami.
Chavez went on trial for the 1995 kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of the then nine year old Redland youngster.
The trial was graphic. Besides Chavez's confession jurors were confronted with the plastic grow pots where Ryce's dismembered body was found.
Juror Greg Claus says, "The pictures they showed were gruesome and horrible and jarring. Some jurors responded very badly to them."
Juror Laura Moreno added, "The worst part was seeing the autopsy photos. That was something on one should see."
Fifteen years after the trial they saw Chavez convicted and given a death sentence the jurors say their role was emotionally difficult due to the intensity of the trial. Both mention the pain that Jimmy's parents endured during the legal proceedings. "It was heart wrenching watching them knowing they had to go through that such horrible thing," says Laura Moreno.
Moreno struggled with the death penalty phase of the trial but not for long. " I realized that Juan Carlos Chavez is the one who caused this to happen. He is the one who chose this for himself. He is absolutely where he belongs and he is getting what he deserves."
Juan Carlos Chavez is scheduled to be executed by the State of Florida on Feb. 12.