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ST. PETERSBURG (CBSMiami/AP) — Opening statements are scheduled to get underway Monday in the trial of a man who threw his 5-year-old daughter off a Tampa bridge.
It took a week for lawyers to agree on 12 jurors and four alternates to decide the fate of 29-year-old John Jonchuck.
No one disputes that Jonchuck dropped his daughter Phoebe off a bridge approaching the Sunshine Skyway during what appeared to be a psychotic breakdown in January 2015. The girl fell 62 feet to her death.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. If convicted of first-degree murder, he’ll automatically go to prison for life.
Jonchuck’s lawyers are using an insanity defense. They must convince jurors his mental illness was so severe that he didn’t know what he was doing.