GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A South Florida man was found guilty Friday evening of killing his friend while he was away at college.
Pedro Bravo was convicted of first-degree murder and six other charges Friday night. It took jurors about three hours to reach their verdict.
Bravo was subsequently sentenced to life in prison without parole on the murder charge. He did not appear to react when the verdict was read.
The 20-year-old was accused of killing University of Florida freshman Christian Aguilar in 2012.
Prosecutors claimed Bravo plotted to kill Aguilar after learning he was dating Bravo's ex-girlfriend, whom both had known during their days together at Doral Academy.
Erika Friman was dating Aguilar at the time of his disappearance in September 2012.
Prosecutors portrayed Bravo as being so obsessed with Friman that he moved to Gainesville in an attempt to win her back.
Aguilar's body was found three weeks after he was reported missing. His remains were partially buried in a remote field.
Aguilar was last seen alive with Bravo. Bravo admitted the two were in a violent fistfight shortly before the disappearance.
Aguilar's blood was found in Bravo's SUV and store surveillance video captured Bravo purchasing duct tape, a hunting knife, intoxicating over-the-counter drugs and a shovel.
Soil samples from the shovel matched dirt from the grave site and dirt on Bravo's vehicle, which he took to a car wash in the overnight hours of the day Aguilar was reported missing.
Bravo even testified in his own defense, telling the jury that the shovel was for his own suicidal plans.
Now a convicted murderer, Bravo denied killing Aguilar in the minutes before the judge sentenced him to life in prison.
"There's no words to explain the heartache that his family, my family and anyone involved in this has gone through," Bravo told the judge. "But I know in my heart and I know in my actions that day and I know as well that day knows that I did not kill Christian Aguilar."
Aguilar's father said Bravo's refusal to admit his guilt means he can't forgive him for the death of his son.
"I cannot forgive him, and I want him as far away as possible from my family and from Erika Friman," Carlos Aguilar told Local 10 News.
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