Doctors: Tampa dad who dropped 5-year-old girl off bridge now competent

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A state mental hospital evaluation concludes a Florida man is now competent to stand trial on charges that he threw his young daughter to her death off a Tampa Bay area bridge.

Pinellas Circuit Judge Chris Helinger said during a Wednesday hearing that she's read the report on 27-year-old John Jonchuck and set a competency hearing for March 27.

Assistant Public Defender Jane McNeill says she'll want to have doctors chosen by the defense also assess Jonchuck.

Authorities say that in January 2015, Jonchuck stopped his car on the bridge, grabbed 5-year-old Phoebe from the back and then walked to the edge, where he dropped her over.

Doctors have been treating Jonchuck to restore his competency to stand trial.

The Tampa Bay Times reports prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

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