Pedro Bravo, charged with the first-degree murder of Christian Aguilar, appeared at the Alachua County Courthouse on Tuesday in a red jumpsuit.
He stood silently beside his lawyer, Michael Ruppert. Three minutes later, he was on his way back to the county jail, and Aguilar’s family continued to wait.
“We’re pressuring. We are ready. We’re telling the community that we’re ready to start the trial,” said Carlos Aguilar, Christian Aguilar’s father, after Bravo’s case management court appearance.
Judge Peter K. Sieg moved a full case management hearing, during which the prosecution and defense could agree to begin a trial, until Aug. 27.
The same occurred in January and again in April. This time, the reasoning was the need to gather approximately 110 depositions from law enforcement and others involved in the search for Aguilar’s body.
No depositions have yet been gathered.
Carlos Aguilar isn’t confident about anything happening in August, either.
“I doubt it. I doubt it. I don’t think it’s enough time to do all 120 depositions,” he said.
Ruppert declined comment as he walked out of the courtroom Tuesday. He asked Sieg for the two extra months during Bravo’s appearance.
Sieg granted the request over an objection from assistant state attorney Brian Kramer.
“We are at approximately 10 months now, and no depositions have been taken to this point,” Kramer said. “I don’t know how many years we’re supposed to wait for these things to occur before we simply say we’re ready for trial.”
Ruppert pushed back, noting he was Bravo’s third attorney during those 10 months.
“Certainly I have not had the case for that whole time period. I’ve had it for a short duration,” Ruppert said.
Many Aguilar family members again made the trip from Miami where they live. Each time Carlos Aguilar gets off the I-75 exit in Gainesville, he has to pass Best Buy, the store where his son was last seen alive on surveillance video.
The trip does not get easier, he said.