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Brutal Slashing Yields First-Degree Murder Charges for St. Pete Man

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A routine cab fare ended in a brutal murder last week according to St. Petersburg police, and prosecutors have charged a local man with murder in the first degree as a result.

John Andrew Hutchens was dispatched to a residence in Lealman thirty minutes into June 1 and was allegedly met by Juan Carlos Juares, whom Hutchens delivered to a Silver Lake mobile-home park around one mile away.

Juares, allegedly lacking sufficient funds to cover the cab ride he had just enjoyed, returned to the cab and, asked Hutchens to return him to his home after giving him five dollars and what they say was a credit card. This did not sit well with Hutchens, who told Juares as much and informed him of his feelings, telling him that he would drop Juares off where the police could collect him.

County prosecutors say dashcam footage depicts Hutchens stopping at a filling station and beckoning Juares out of the vehicle whereupon, according to prosecutors, Juares began attacking Hutchens with an edged weapon from within the vehicle.

Authorities say the attack began inside the car but continued with increased ferocity outside of it as Hutchens attempted to escape the situation. On one knee and attempting to staunch the blood flowing from his multiple wounds, Hutchens attempted to fend off Juares as police say he resumed the attack in a cool and collected manner. Authorities say Juares broke off the attack as bystanders began to accumulate. Despite the aid rendered by strangers on the scene, Hutchens slipped away at the site of the attack.

Juares left the scene in the taxi that brought him to it. He was apprehended without incident later that evening and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of first-degree murder as well as on charges relating to prior DUIs. He's also being held for unspecified reasons for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He is currently being held without bond.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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