MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A jury was seated Monday in the trial of a Miami man charged in the 2012 death of a University of Florida student, also from South Florida.
Pedro Bravo, 20, faces life in prison if convicted of killing 18-year-old Christian Aguilar, his high school friend.
Aguilar’s family is from the Miami area and both he and Bravo were Doral Academy graduates.
The trial is taking place in Alachua County where potential jurors were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their knowledge of the case.
Bravo, a former Santa Fe College student, is accused of killing Aguilar sometime after the two were captured on surveillance video at a Gainesville Best Buy on September 20th, 2012.
It wasn’t until October 12th, following a massive volunteer search, that Aguilar’s body was discovered by hunters deep in the woods. His body was half-buried in Levy County, an hour from the University of Florida campus.
Bravo first told police he beat Aguilar in a fight over a girl they both dated at separate times. He claimed he left Aguilar blooded, and unconscious in a parking lot miles away from the Best Buy.
But police later found blood in Bravo’s SUV and Aguilar’s backpack hidden in his closet. They also found a receipt showing Bravo purchased a shovel and duct tape just days before Aguilar’s disappearance.
Authorities believe Bravo suffocated and drugged Aguilar and buried his body in the forest.
Bravo, who was 18 at the time, stands charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping, poisoning and other crimes.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.
Aguilar’s father, Carlos, was briefly at the Alachua County Criminal Courthouse Monday morning. He did not attend jury selection but said he will return Tuesday.
No members of Bravo’s family were spotted in the courtroom.
The prosecution anticipates presenting about 450 pieces of physical evidence and 1,500 photographs.
The state is not seeking the death penalty. Bravo could face life in prison.
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