A Florida man claims “voices” urged him to kill his 5-year-old daughter, ultimately leading him to toss her off a bridge to her death in January 2015, court records revealed Tuesday.
John Jonchuck told doctors during a two-day evaluation in October 2017 and May 2018 the “voices” told him “everybody in the world” was going to die if he didn’t kill his daughter, Phoebe, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The evaluations were done to determine if the 29-year-old father was mentally stable at the time of the girl’s death.
“I was hearing voices saying that if me and Phoebe didn’t die, everybody was going to go to hell,” Jonchuck was quoted telling doctors in court records.
On Jan. 8, 2015, Jonchuck stopped his car on Dick Misener Bridge in Tampa Bay, took his daughter out of the backseat and dropped her over the edge. The girl plunged 62 feet to her death. Police later stopped Jonchuck and found two Bibles inside his vehicle.
Jonchuck told the psychiatrist he still has “bad dreams” about his daughter’s death, according to court records.
“I think about her every night. In the mornings when I wake up,” he said. “…Because I was a really good father and she loved me so much and I always promised her that I’m not going to let anything happen, and I did.”
When asked why he cared that everyone died, he responded: “Because I felt like with that Bible that night I was telling everybody that I was the Creator…Because I felt like the voices were telling me something that was real. Because I didn’t want anybody else to get hurt.”
Jonchuck was charged with first-degree murder and is expected to go on trial in March, the Tampa Bay Times reported. His lawyers have argued their client was insane and unaware of the gravity of his actions at the time of Phoebe’s death.
Jonchuck faces life in prison if convicted.