ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida father accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter by dropping her off a bridge is going on trial with his attorneys expected to say he was insane.
John Jonchuck’s first-degree murder trial begins Monday in St. Petersburg for the 2015 death of his daughter, Phoebe.
His attorneys admit their 29-year-old client dropped the girl into Tampa Bay, but say he was insane.
Jonchuck had a history of hospitalizations. Hours before the girl’s death, his divorce lawyer called a state hotline, saying he was having a mental breakdown and she feared for Phoebe’s safety. The hotline operator never reported her concerns to investigators.
If convicted, Jonchuck will receive a life sentence. If acquitted by reason of insanity, he will likely be hospitalized the rest of his life.
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