This time the story comes from Florida, but the news is all about Charlie Hebdo, so I thought I'd pass it on. On a quieter news day this would be the top story.
This man threw his 5-year-old daughter to her death from a highway bridge, and he doesn't want a court-appointed lawyer. He wants to leave it "in God's hands."
The judge tried to get clarification... did he want to represent himself? No, he wanted to leave it in God's hands.
On the one hand, I want to think he is suicidal and will off himself in prison, thus removing the legal process. On the other hand, I want him to have a court appointed attorney who can at least get him a psychiatric evaluation.
And on the third hand I want to strangle him myself.
... and this just in: his divorce attorney called 911 to report that the girl could be in danger. She said he was delusional, and guess what kinds of delusions he was having? Yep. Religious ones, and naturally, religion gets a pass on this.
Genevieve Torres called 911 Wednesday to say her client, John Jonchuck, was acting strange. Deputies went out to talk with Jonchuck but said there was no evidence the child was in danger.
The 25-year-old father was at Torres' office in Lutz on a child paternity case. His daughter Phoebe was with him. The 5 year old quietly colored a picture and played.
"I called 911 immediately when he left the office and told them where he was going so someone could meet him there," she said.
In a 911 call, she told the operator, "He’s out of his mind and he has a minor child with him driving to a church now and I should’ve kept the child.”
According to police reports, Jonchuck asked his attorney to translate a Swedish bible during the meeting and even said he was “God.” He said he was headed to St. Paul Catholic Church in Tampa to talk with a member of the clergy.
“It was enough for me to say this is not usual behavior. This is, I use the word delusional. He was delusional and he had a 5-year-old girl with him. And I just thought you know—somebody had to take care of that little girl," she said.
Father Bill Swengros says Jonchuck showed up at the church with Phoebe.
"He seemed just like a typical dad, a 25-year-old dad with his daughter," said Father Bill.
He said he had his childcare workers watch Phoebe so he could talk to her dad privately.
Father Bill said she seemed well-adjusted.
"What impressed me about her actually was that she seemed very intelligent and very confident in herself."
He said Johnchuck himself seemed "off," and that Johnchuck claimed he was having a spiritual experience and wanted to be baptized immediately.
"His mind was racing in a lot of different directions but there wasn't anything that would suggest he was a danger to himself or his daughter," he said.
Deputies found Jonchuck at church, but according to their report he never threatened to harm his daughter or himself.
Jonchuck told deputies he was there because God spoke to him and gave him new clarity in his life. That wasn’t enough for Torres.
“I decided to call child protective services,” she said.
She called the child abuse hotline, where the attorney was also told the behavior did not legally meet criteria to investigate the case as child abuse