No, Pedro Bravo Didn’t Ask Siri Where to Stash His Roommate’s Body

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A screen shot of a Siri search from a Facebook cache viewed on Pedro Bravo's cell phone is shown to the jury during Bravo's murder trial in courtroom 1B of the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Bravo is accused of killing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar.
A screen shot of a Siri search from a Facebook cache viewed on Pedro Bravo’s cell phone is shown to the jury during Bravo’s murder trial in courtroom 1B of the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Bravo is accused of killing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar.” credit=”Doug Finger / Pool/The Gainesville Sun

There has been a great deal of attention on the Pedro Bravo trial happening here in Gainesville. Unfortunately, some of the most recent news just isn’t true.

Update: Read the transcript from the trial where the assistant state attorney questions the GPD detective on the image of a Siri search.

Following a story posted by WPXI and other Cox Media affiliates, many national and international media outlets are running with a story that Bravo, who is accused of killing Christian Aguilar, asked Siri where to stash his “roommate’s” body.

Two things are wrong with that narrative: according to Gainesville Police, and our reporters in the courtroom, Detective Goeckel never testified that Bravo performed that Siri search, and Aguilar and Bravo were not roommates.

GPD public information officer Ben Tobias took to Twitter this morning to start to debunk some of the rumors:

Other reporters covering the trial also chimed in:

Some in the national media initially met the questioning with some surprise:

https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/499579239474405376

Perhaps we can chalk this up to the old adage “never let the facts get in the way of a good story?”

Stay tuned to WUFT News for our from-the-courthouse coverage of the Bravo trial, including our live feed and @WUFTPedroBravo twitter feed. Or check out some of the excellent work by our friends at the Alligator.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Ryan Giusti, Cox Media Group managing editor for the national content desk, has contacted WUFT News and said that the report did not originate with WPXI, but rather with Action News Jax in Jacksonville, Fla., another station in the Cox Media Group. The national and international press aggregating this information have been linking to the WPXI report, which is why we identified it above.

Update 2:30 p.m. WUFT News has pulled the footage from yesterday’s trial where Detective Goeckel discussed the image which prompted the reports that Bravo did a search on Siri. Assistant State Attorney Bill Ezzell questions the detective:

“You indicated the State’s H-I [Siri Screenshot] came from the camera roll or the saved images folder you could say of this iPhone. Is that fair?

Goeckel: “It comes out as images, it’s in the Facebook cache is what it’s in.”

“And so, because it’s coming from somewhere off the internet, or something like that, Facebook is a social networking site accessed by the internet, is that fair to say?”

Goeckel: “Yes.”

“Might that explain why this screen capture indicates an AT&T provider as opposed to Verizon which is the carrier of the defendant’s cell phone?”

Goeckel: “Correct”

“Might that explain – or let me ask you this – do you know what this screen capture is of? What we would call this?”

Goeckel: “This would be from a Siri.”

“Okay, was Siri as a program, was she available on the iPhone 4?”

Goeckel: “No.”

“Okay, how could a Siri image appear on an iPhone 4?”

Goeckel: “In this case it was cached on Facebook, it was viewed on Facebook with the phone.”

Editor’s note: Tapper reached out via twitter about our initial characterization of his skepticism about the tweets. We’ve updated it to reflect his questioning as surprise that media outlets ran with the story.

About Matt Sheehan

Matt can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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