Donald Smith pleads not guilty

Charged with murder of Cherish Perriwinkle

Donald Brown pleads not guilty during his arraignment on Tuesday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Donald James Smith entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday morning to charges relating to the kidnapping, sexual battery and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle.

Smith is accused of kidnapping the 8-year-old from a Northside Wamart, then dumping her body near a church off of Broward Road.

The State Attorney's Office has announced that it will pursue the death penalty against the 56-yr-old Smith, who was already a registered sex offender in Florida and had been released from jail only a month month before Cherish was kidnapped and killed.

Smith is being held in jail without bond. His next pretrial hearing is set for Sept. 4.  A tentative trial date was set for Dec. 14.