The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

The Registry Attorneys will be continued by the Justice Administration Commission.

These actions are effective July 1, 2011.

Disclaimer: The Commission on Capital Cases receives this information from a variety of sources. The site will be updated consistently as information is received and will be audited bi-annually. We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, the information should be verified by the applicable court prior to using it for legal or statistical purposes.


Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
ChavezJuan M18034RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
5/23/2007FSC07-9523.851 Appeal
5/27/2008FSC07-952Initial brief
2/5/2009FSC07-952Oral Arguments
6/25/2009FSC07-952Appeal denied
7/22/2009FSC07-952Mandate issued
6/25/2009FSC08-970Habeas denied
8/28/2009USSC09-6156Cert Writ filed
11/2/2009USSC09-6156Cert denied
8/10/2010USCA10-13840Habeas appeal filed
2/9/2010USDC10-20399Habeas Petition
7/12/2010USDC10-20399Petition dismissed
10/2/2010USDC10-20399COA granted

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
NorgardAndrea M.Bartow, FLP.O. Box 81133831-0811863/533-8556Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date

Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly.  This information, however, is subject to changeand may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not berelied on for statistical or legal purposes.


CHAVEZ, Juan Carlos (H/M)

DC #   M18034

DOB: 03/16/67   


Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Case #95-037867

Change of Venue from Orange County, Case #98-11700

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Marc Schumacher 

Attorney, Criminal Trial: Edward Koch – Assistant PublicDefender   

Attorney, Direct Appeal: R. Harper, S. Whittington, & J.Savitz – Private 

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Andrea Norgard– Registry


Date ofOffense:         09/11/95

Date of Sentence:       11/23/98


Circumstances of Offense:


Juan Carlos Chavez was convicted and sentenced to death forthe kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of nine-year-old Samuel James “Jimmy”Ryce.


Jimmy Ryce disappeared on09/11/95, after being dropped off by the school bus in Redlands, Florida. Extensive search efforts failed to locate the boy.


Juan Carlos Chavez worked as a handyman for the Scheinhaus family and lived in a trailer located on theirproperty.  Chavez also cared for the Scheinhaus’horses, which were boarded on a farm owned by David Santana.  In lateAugust or early September of 1995, Susan Scheinhausreported to police that several items were missing from her residence, includinga handgun and some jewelry.  Scheinhaussuspected Chavez, but had no evidence to prove her suspicions.  On12/05/95, Scheinhaus, aided by a locksmith, enteredthe trailer inhabited by Chavez.  Scheinhausspotted the handgun in plain view.  After further examination of thetrailer, Scheinhaus found a book bag belonging toJimmy Ryce.  Several items in the book bag,including books and papers had his name written on them.  Scheinhaus notified the FBI.  On 12/06/95, Chavez waslocated and taken to the Metro-Dade Police Station for questioning.


During a 55-hour interrogation and having been advised ofhis rights, Chavez voluntarily and knowingly admitted to abducting, sexuallyassaulting and killing Jimmy Ryce.  Chavez gavea detailed account of the abduction.  Chavez confessed that he kidnappedJimmy at gunpoint and then took him to the horse farm where he sexuallyassaulted and later shot the boy.  Chavez transported the body to the Scheinhaus residence.  There he dismembered the boy’sbody and hid the parts by cementing them in three large planters.


Additional Information:


Chavez had no prior incarceration history in the state ofFlorida.


Trial Summary:


12/06/95         The defendant was arrested.

12/20/95         The defendant was indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:         Sexual Assault /Victim Under 12

                                   Count III:        Kidnapping with a Weapon

09/18/98         The defendant was found guilty on all counts charged in the indictment.

10/29/98         The jury unanimously recommended the death penalty.

11/23/98         The defendant was sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder - Death

                                   Count II:         Sexual Assault /Victim Under 12 - Life

                                   Count III:        Kidnapping with a Weapon -Life


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court - Direct Appeal

FSC #94,586

832 So. 2d 730


12/28/98         Appeal filed.

05/30/02         FSC affirmed the convictions and sentence of death.

11/21/02         Rehearing denied in light of revised opinion.

12/20/02         Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court - Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC #02-10297

539 U.S. 947


04/23/03         Petition filed.

06/23/03         Petition denied.


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 95-37867


07/09/04         Motion filed.

05/05/05         Motion amended.

01/10/07         Evidentiary Hearing held.

03/08/07         CC denied motion.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Motion Appeal

FSC# 07-952


05/23/07         Appeal filed.

06/25/09         Conviction and sentence affirmed.

07/22/09         Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC# 08-970


05/27/08         Petition filed.

06/25/09         Petition denied. 


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 09-6156

130 S.Ct. 501


08/28/09         Petition filed.

11/02/09         Petition denied.


United StatesDistrict Court, Southern District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 10-20399


02/09/10          Petitionfiled.

07/12/10          Petition dismissed.

08/13/10          Motion for Certificate of Appealability filed.

10/02/10          Motion granted.


United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit –Habeas Appeal

USDC# 10-13840



08/10/10          Appeal filed.



Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition ofthe Sentence


The Direct Appeal took approximately four years to reach afinal disposition. 


Case Information:


On 12/28/98, Chavez filed a Direct Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  In that appeal, he argued that the police did not haveprobable cause for his arrest, that the trial court erred in denying his motionto suppress his confession (for numerous reasons) and that the deprivation ofhis right to counsel by delaying his initial appearance constituted reversibleerror.  Chavez also contended that he was denied a fair trial when, due toa change of venue, the trial court reversed an earlier order prohibitingphotography of the jurors in the courtroom.  Chavez argued that the Statefailed to prove corpus delecti[1] on the Sexual Assaultcharge and that the trial court erred in its consideration and application ofaggravating circumstances.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed theconvictions and sentence of death on 05/30/02 and issued a revised opinion on11/21/02.


Chavez filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the UnitedStates Supreme Court on 04/23/03, which was denied on 06/23/03.


Chavez filed a 3.851 Motion in the Circuit Court on 07/09/04and amended the motion on 05/05/05.  On 01/10/07, and Evidentiary Hearingwas held, and on 03/08/07, the Circuit Court denied the motion. 


Chavez filed a 3.851 Motion Appeal in the Florida SupremeCourt on 05/23/07, which was denied on 06/25/09. A mandate was issued on07/22/09.


Chavez filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in theFlorida Supreme Court on 05/27/08, which was denied on 06/25/09.


Chavez filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the UnitedStates Supreme Court on 08/24/09, which was denied on 11/02/09.


Chavez filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in theUnited States District Court, Southern District on 02/09/10, which wasdismissed on 07/12/10.


Chavez filed a Motion for Certificate of Appealabiltyin the United States District Court on 08/13/10, which was granted on 10/02/10.


Chavez filed a Habeas Appeal in the United States CircuitCourt on 8/10/10. That appeal is pending.



03/08/04 – ew

03/09/04 – approved – ec

12/16/10 – updated – jjk


[1] Corpus delecti– proof, independent of a confession, that a crime was, in fact, committed.