A man accused of dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a Tampa Bay bridge told doctors that voices urged him to kill the child.
John Jonchuck, 29, is being treated at a state mental hospital as he awaits a March trial on first-degree murder charges in the death of Phoebe Jonchuck. Prosecutors say Jonchuck dropped the little girl into the water in January 2015.
New court files reveal Jonchuck told doctors, “I was hearing voices saying that if me and Phoebe didn’t die, everybody was going to go to hell.”
Jonchuck told psychiatrist Emily Lazarou these details during evaluations to determine his mental state.
When Lazarou asked Jonchuck who exactly he thought was going to die if he didn’t murder his daughter, he replied: “Everybody in the world.”
Phoebe’s body was pulled out of the Tampa Bay after an off-duty police officer witnessed her being thrown off the Dick Misener Bridge, plummeting 62 feet into the water, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Police spokesman Mike Puetz told People in 2015 that the officer witnessed Jonchuck race to the bridge, stop his car and reach into the back to grab his daughter.
“Then he threw her over the railing and into the water.”
Even though he allegedly killed his own daughter, Jonchuck maintains he was a good dad, according to the court records.
“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.”
He also said he still thinks of her.
“I think about her every night, in the mornings when I wake up,” Jonchuck told the psychiatrist, the court records show.
The trial is scheduled for March, although it’s already been delayed several times. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
[Photo: Associated Press]
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