Juan Carlos Chavez, who raped and murdered 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce in an infamous 1995 crime near Miami, was executed by lethal injection Wednesday night, reports the Miami Herald. Chavez's last statement came in a rambling handwritten note penned hours before his execution. He made no apologies. He proclaimed his religious faith and said, “No word or man will rob me of my peace today.”
The victim’s father, Don Ryce, who has crusaded for tougher laws against sex predators, watched stoically as Chavez was executed, then warned pedophiles to think twice about killing their victims. “We will hunt you down and we will put you to death,” he said. Jimmy disappeared from a school bus stop Sept. 11, 1995. Chavez, after a marathon police interrogation, confessed to raping him and shooting the boy in the back as he tried to escape. Jimmy's dismembered remains were found in planters sealed with concrete.