'Don't let him out': Father of slain 2-year-old begs judge not to grant accused killer bond

ORLANDO, Fla. — The father of slain 2-year-old Jayce Martin wrote a letter to an Orange County judge last week begging her not to grant bond to the man accused of killing his son.

Johnathan Pursglove, who is facing manslaughter charges in the toddler's death, is scheduled for a bond hearing Wednesday morning. The child's mother, Victoria Toth, is also facing manslaughter charges.

"These horrible people took from me everything I was working for. I beg you, save someones life. Don't let him out," the child's father, Robert Martin, wrote.


Martin referred to Pursglove's lengthy rap sheet for keeping him behind bars.

"I wish I could hold my son and speak with him, but that isn't going to happen," Martin wrote. "Please don't take my son's death lightly and allow a man that has no respect for life or law back in society where he can reoffend again."

Pursglove has arrests going back to 2010. But never for anything like this. He's accused of badly beating Jayce and never bothering to take him to the hospital.

Pursglove told police the day after the toddler’s death that he didn’t know what had happened to the boy, according to newly released interrogation recordings.

Pursglove only said that the boy had been throwing up before his girlfriend, Victoria Toth, put the boy to bed.

"He wouldn't, he usually never goes right to sleep, so he kept sitting up and, like, calling, like, 'Tori, Tori, John!' and we're like, 'Dude, go to sleep,' so eventually he went to sleep," Pursglove said in the recordings.

Pursglove and Toth are both facing manslaughter charges relating to the boy’s death.

Pursglove remains in jail six months after being accused of fatally beating Jayce. His lawyer was in court Tuesday morning. They are waiving their right to a speedy trial.

It’s looking like it will be June before he gets in front of a jury.

On Monday, Channel 9 obtained recordings of a police interview with a man who said Toth, his ex-girlfriend, told him of alleged abuse before Jayce's death.

Michael Chapman said he knew Toth and Jayce were being abused, but he did nothing about it because Toth told him she had left her boyfriend, Pursglove, and was safe.

Channel 9 learned Toth made a cry for help before Jayce's death.

Few knew of the history of alleged abuse against her and her son at their Bethune Drive home.

"She actually emailed me because she didn't have my new phone number, and told me that Jayce was getting hit and she was getting hit," Chapman said.

Chapman said Toth told him that Pursglove had a violent past and was fed up with having to parent Jayce.

"She was, like, 'He doesn't want to be a part of Jayce's life,'" Chapman said. "'He said he has one son and that's all he wants to worry about.'"

Police said they believe Pursglove beat Jayce badly and that the child suffered for several days before dying.

Investigators said Ayla Anes, Pursglove's sister and a registered nurse, visited the family during the final hours of Jayce's life.

They said she did not offer the family medical help or advice because her advice was not sought.

Chapman told investigators he thought Toth had removed herself from the situation.

"She's, like, 'I'll make you a promise. I'm done with him,'" he said. "She's, like, 'Just make me a promise that you'll leave it alone.' So that's what I did. I left it alone."

Pursglove and Toth are accused of playing different roles in Jayce's death, but both face manslaughter charges.

Police said Pursglove told them he heard Jayce crying for help the night he died, and he told him to go to sleep. He said Jayce had fallen in the shower.

"As soon as the water would, like, touch his head, he would freak out," Pursglove told detectives during an interview. "I think he hit maybe the edge of the shower of the tub."

Pursglove is scheduled to request bail during a court hearing Wednesday.

He was previously released from jail after paying bail, but investigators said they re-arrested him after he was found with drugs on him.


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