The prosecution rested today after presenting their case with several witnesses over the past week and a half.
Pedro Bravo walked into the courtroom Thursday morning and decided to testify in his own defense. Bravo is accused of murdering University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, whom prosecutors say he killed out of jealousy when Aguilar began dating an ex-girlfriend, Erika Friman.
Bravo said he originally met Aguilar and Friman while attending middle school and high school in Miami. After graduation, he moved to Gainesville to get a fresh start and a second chance with Friman, according to his testimony.
Bravo said he was having suicidal thoughts and was “crushed” when he found out Aguilar and Friman were dating. He said he wanted to talk to Aguilar.
Bravo recalls the day he met with Aguilar and they went to Wal-Mart on 13th street to talk. Bravo said they ended up fighting in the asphalt area near Streit’s Honda.
Bravo said that is where he asked Aguilar to get out of the car and left him there, with his cell phone and backpack still in the car.
Bravo said he went home and received a call from Erika Friman at 4 am looking for Aguilar. Bravo met up with her and went to the Gainesville Police and University of Florida police to report a missing person.
Bravo said he didn’t want to tell the police that he had gotten into a fight with Aguilar because he did not want to get in trouble. But, when Aguilar did not turn up, Bravo decided to tell the police about the physical altercation.
After showing police where he claimed the fight occurred near Streit’s, Bravo was booked into jail a few days later.
Bravo testified that he was originally going to use the shovel he purchased at Wal-Mart as part of his suicide plan, but then used it for an art project.
Bravo addressed a letter he wrote in jail while sharing a cell with Michael Angelo. Bravo said Angelo dictated the letter word for word. He claimed that he wrote the letter because Angelo was threatening him and his parents.
Bravo also wrote a suicide note in jail in which he stated, “It’s selfish, it may be the wrong move, but I’m in here so the move has already been made” and “I am a monster for hurting Chris.”
The prosecution cross-examined Bravo and asked him a series of questions to which he gave one-word answers. Bravo maintained that he did not kill Aguilar throughout his testimony.
Bravo: “I didn’t kill him.”
Prosecution: “I’m not asking you if you did. I think you have that answer.”