UK & World News

  • 13 February 2014, 11:11

Florida Man Executed For Murder Of Jimmy Ryce

A man who raped and killed a nine-year-old boy 18 years ago has been put to death in Florida by lethal injection.

Authorities say 46-year-old Juan Carlos Chavez was executed at Florida State Prison after a final appeal was rejected.

The execution took place two hours later than planned due to the last-minute Supreme Court appeal.

Chavez spent 15 years on death row after admitting to kidnapping Jimmy Ryce at gunpoint in September 1995 as the boy got off a school bus.

He was convicted of raping the boy and shooting him dead when he tried to escape. He then dismembered the body.

Jimmy was missing for three months, before a police investigation discovered Chavez after a tip-off from the owner of a horse farm where he worked.

The farm's owner found Chavez with Jimmy's school bag and a weapon she had reported stolen.

The boy's body was later discovered buried in cement in the garden of a nearby farm.

After Jimmy's death, his parents pushed for stronger US laws for the confinement of sexual predators.

In his final appeal to the Supreme Court, Chavez argued for his constitutional right to avoid "cruel and unusual punishment".

He said these rights would be violated if the state used a lethal cocktail to put him to death.

Florida, like other US states, has been experiencing a shortage of the most commonly used lethal injection anaesthetic, pentobarbital.

In response, it has been using a new cocktail since October which renders the inmate unconscious, followed by two additional drugs to paralyse and kill.

But the US Supreme Court denied the final appeal without explanation, giving the green light to execute Chavez.

He was declared dead at 8.17pm local time on Wednesday.

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