Juan Carlos Chavez, convicted in 1995 killing, to be executed Feb. 12

Jan. 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The man convicted in the 1995 rape, murder and dismemberment of a boy, 9, will be executed Feb. 12, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced.

Juan Carlos Chavez, 46, will be executed by lethal injection at the prison in Stark, the Republican governor said Thursday.

Chavez was convicted of the murder of Jimmy Ryce, who disappeared at a school bus stop near his Redland home. The search for the boy riveted South Florida and terrified families, the Miami Herald reported.

The boy's dismembered remains were found sealed in cement-filled pots behind Chavez's home. Chavez admitted kidnapping the boy at gunpoint, driving him to a remote trailer on a South Florida horse farm where he worked, raping him, then shooting him when he attempted to escape.

"Justice will finally be done in the murder of my son. ... I feel a combination of sadness and relief. I hope this sends a message to predators that this behavior will not go unpunished," Don Ryce, the boy's father, said in a statement Thursday.

The conviction sparked nationwide efforts to improve searches for missing children and led to a Florida law that allows the state to indefinitely detain sexual predators, the newspaper said.

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