The Latest: Jury takes minutes to convict man in slaying
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a man charged with abducting, raping and murdering an 8-year-old girl in Florida. (all times local):
A jury took just minutes to find a man guilty of the kidnapping, rape and murder of an 8-year-old Florida girl.
The panel took about 15 minutes Wednesday to deliberate, and delivered its unanimous verdicts against Donald Smith in a Jacksonville courtroom.
Cherish Perrywinkle was abducted from a Walmart in 2013 after Smith befriended her mother.
The 61-year-old Smith faces a possible death sentence.
Smith was captured by surveillance video leaving the store with Cherish, and his DNA was found on the girl’s mutilated body.
In his closing argument, prosecutor Mark Caliel said Cherish “endured a nightmare no child should have to endure.”
The jury will now hear evidence in the trial’s penalty phase as it decides whether to sentence him to death.
A Florida prosecutor says the man accused of abducting, raping and murdering an 8-year-old girl had preyed upon her family, gained their trust and ultimately mutilated the girl’s body.
In closing arguments Wednesday in Jacksonville, Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel said Cherish Perrywinkle “endured a nightmare no child should have to endure” as Donald Smith raped and strangled her.
The child was abducted from a Walmart in 2013 after Smith befriended her mother.
The 61-year-old Smith watched the closing arguments silently. His attorneys did not present a closing argument.
Smith is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape. He faces a possible death sentence.
Caliel restated the evidence, including surveillance video showing Cherish leaving the store with Smith, and that his DNA was found on the girl’s body.