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SEX MURDER OF FLORIDA BOY LEADS TO DEATH SENTENCE

A Florida judge Monday imposed the death sentence in the slaying of a 9-year-old boy, a crime that led to tougher state laws against violent sex abusers.

"The strength of the aggravating circumstances in this case is so overwhelming that they make the mitigating circumstances appear insignificant," Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Marc Schumacher said in sentencing Juan Carlos Chavez for the murder of Samuel "Jimmy" Ryce.

Chavez, 31, who lived near the boy, was convicted in September. Last month, the jury recommended the death penalty.

The boy was abducted after getting off a school bus near his suburban home in September 1995. He was held for 3 1/2 hours, raped, killed and dismembered with a farm tool.

His remains where found encased in concrete after a search of South Florida following his disappearance.

Chavez also got two consecutive life terms for the kidnapping and armed sexual battery of the boy.

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