GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The trial of a Miami man charged in the 2012 death of a University of Florida student began Monday with jury selection.
Pedro Bravo, 20, faces life in prison if convicted of killing 18-year-old Christian Aguilar.
Between hundreds of potential jurors in the trial were given a special questionnaire asking how much they've heard about the case that drew international attention. The five questions are designed to speed up the process of selecting a jury of 12, plus two alternates.
Prosecutor Darry Lloyd said the state will not seek the death penalty -- a decision made by Sate Attorney Will Cervone in consultation with the Aguilar family.
A massive search began when Aguilar was reported missing in September 2012. His body was later discovered by hunters days later in a rural area of Levy County, about an hour from campus.
Police said when Bravo was questioned, he initially said the two had gotten into an argument over a girl. A receipt and surveillance video showed that Bravo bought a shovel and duct tape four days before Aguilar's disappearance.
Family said after his death that Aguilar had a smile and a warm spirit that touched people when they got to know him. They were shocked and saddened over his death nearly two years ago and had a hard time coming to terms with what happened.
Investigators said Aguilar was partially buried in a shallow grave, deep in the woods, on a hunting lease in Cedar Key. It's located about 45 minutes from the UF campus.
According to a grand jury indictment, Bravo poisoned and suffocated Aguilar, who he attended school with prior to college. He originally told police he beat Aguilar up after a fight over a girl, according to the indictment.
Bravo faces seven charges, including homicide, kidnapping, poisoning, making a false report, obstructing a criminal investigation, destroying evidence and mishandling human remains.
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