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Annual memorial ride for Phoebe Jonchuck, girl thrown off bridge by father, postponed

Murder trial for John Jonchuck to start March 18
Posted at 3:32 AM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 04:36:22-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — It has been four years since 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck's tragic death. Despite the time that's passed, the pain remains.

"It still bothers me," said Louis Falco.

Prosecutors say on January 8, 2015, John Jonchuck threw his daughter from the Dick Misener Bridge into Tampa Bay.

"I can't fathom how he could do something like that," said Falco.

RELATED: The case against John Jonchuck

Jonchuck was originally deemed incompetent to stand trial. He was taken to the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center to treat his mental illness. Doctors now believe he is competent and ready to stand trial. Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday, March 18.

Falco is in the biker group that started a scholarship fundraiser in Phoebe's name back in 2015. They have done this for the last three years. None of them are related to the family.

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The bikers were moved to get involved after hearing Phoebe's story. The group is postponing this year's event until after the trial is over.

"I want this to be about Phoebe," Falco said. "I think there's just too much going on with the trial right now, and even this could get clouded."

Falco's group has raised over $13,000 since 2015. Every dime has gone to a deserving college student.

"We're going to make sure that little girl is remembered every year," said Falco.

Falco and many in his group do not plan to watch the coverage of the trial. He said he isn't going to judge Jonchuck.

"I wouldn't have a problem with him sitting in jail for the rest of his life," said Falco.

A new date for this year's ride will be announced once the trial is over.