Juan Carlos Chavez was executed by the state of Florida on February 12, 2014. Juan was pronounced dead at 8:17 pm EST, inside the execution chamber at the Florida State Prison near Raiford. Juan was 46 years of age. He was executed for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 9-year-old Samuel James “Jimmy” Ryce on September 11, 1995. Juan kidnapped Jimmy coming home from school and shot him when he attempted to escape. Juan dismembered Jimmy’s body and hid the body parts in planters, which were then covered with concrete.
Juan was born and raised in Cuba, where he alleges he was sexually abused by a relative as child. In 1991, Juan came to Florida on a raft with two others, while his family remained in Cuba.. At the time of the murder and until his arrest, Juan worked as a farmhand. He had no previous criminal history in the United States, although he claimed to have been part of a counter-revolutionary group in Cuba and was imprisoned for attempting to escape and stealing military property.
Pleas pray for peace and healing for the family of Jimmy Ryce. Please pray for the family of Juan Chavez. Juan spoke of finding forgiveness through religion as part of a submitted final statement.