NewsPinellas County


State will not seek death penalty against John Jonchuck, accused of throwing daughter off bridge

Posted at 2:39 PM, Aug 27, 2018

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The State Attorney's Offices has decided not to seek the death penalty against John Jonchuck.

Jonchuck faces a first-degree murder charge for the death of his five-year-old daughter, Phoebe.

Jon Jonchuck,manaccused of throwing daughter offbridge, competent to stand trial. TrialFeb,2018

Police say a detective saw Jonchuck throw his daughter Phoebe off of the Dick Misener Bridge in the middle of the night in January 2015.

Jonchuck has a history of mental health issues.

On multiple occasions, a judge has ruled him unfit to stand trial, but in March of 2017 ruled him competent to stand trial.

Bruce Bartlett with the State Attorney's Office told ABC Action News the reason why they took the death penalty off the table was to better focus on the sanity issue. This saves time and expenses and dispenses with many of the pretrial motions and allows the state to focus on the main issue — his sanity. The trial date remains the same — September 24, 2018.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.