Insanity defense set for man who dropped 5-year-old daughter off Fla. bridge

National and World

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.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

3/17/2019 11:50:46 AM (GMT -4:00)

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.