State urged to keep Donald Smith behind bars decade before Cherish was killed
He also recommended Smith not have any contact with his own children, and when not in prison, be kept in civil confinement. I'm watching the sun come up," Smith told her. It's your fault I'm going to die. "I can't go to prison," Smith said. I'd rather go to death row because I'm going to die anyway.
Rayne Perrywinkle: 'I just wish Cherish was here to see it'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle was concerned Wednesday morning when Judge Mallory Cooper first sentenced Donald Smith to life in prison for kidnapping and rape. When Cooper announced Smith would be put to death for murder, Rayne Perrywinkle burst into tears. I just wish Cherish was here to see it," Perrywinkle said. UNCUT: Rayne Perrywinkle reacts to sentenceCherish was kidanpped from her mother at a Northside Walmart store in June 2013, raped and strangled. Earlier this year Smith was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing Cherish, and a jury unanimously recommended he be sentenced to death.
Judge sentences Cherish Perrywinkle's killer to death
DOCUMENTS: Donald Smith's death sentence | Judge's scoresheet | Cost of prosecutionCircuit Judge Mallory Cooper, who delayed her retirement to see the case through, sentenced Donald Smith to death for the 8-year-old girl’s murder in a widely anticipated ruling that upheld the unanimous recommendation from a jury. … Donald James Smith, may God have mercy on your soul." Rayne Perrywinkle hugs State Attorney Melissa NelsonWhile Nelson and Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel expressed relief afterward, neither celebrated. The outcome also came as a relief to juror Paul Hinson, who was glad Cooper sided with the jury's recommendation. Despite Wednesday's ruling, the case is far from over because Smith is eligible for appeals down the road.
Prosecutors describe emotional impact of Cherish Perrywinkle case
WATCH: Donald Smith prosecutors forever changedShe still remembers the moment she first heard the name "Donald Smith." "I asked Mark if he would be so kind to let me join him in trying the case," Nelson recounted. By the time I responded to the scene, Donald Smith was taken into custody on (Interstate) 95, shortly after I arrived." I did have some concern going in as to what the media impact would have on the prospective jurors," Caliel said. Now, as Smith waits to learn his sentence, the prosecutors reflected on how the case has changed their lives.
Juror describes how Donald Smith trial changed his life
"That was pretty much the hardest part of the trial," Hinson said. Hinson said the trial changed his life, describing how certain words will forever trigger memories of Cherish, as well as Smith. Or is that going to be the next Donald Smith taking somebody out of the door." WATCH: Donald Smith unemotional as jury verdict is readHe went on to talk about Smith's demeanor during the trial. RELATED: 4 things beyond a verdict we learned in Donald Smith trial | Who was Cherish Perrywinkle before Donald Smith cut her life short?
Psychologist: Donald Smith blamed 8-year-old for 'having to kill her'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A clinical psychologist called by Donald Smith's defense team to testify during the penalty phase of his murder trial said Smith is "one of the most dangerous sex offenders" she has ever evaluated. GAVEL-TO-GAVEL: Live video and discussion from Courtroom 406RELATED: 4 things beyond a verdict we learned in Donald Smith trial | Who was Cherish before Donald Smith cut her life short? UNCUT: Kerri-Anne Buck describes day Donald Smith tried to kidnap her(WARNING: Contains explicit language)Smith eventually was sentenced to six years for the attempted kidnapping. “From the grave, she's crying out to you: 'Donald Smith raped me. ... Donald Smith strangled me until every last breath left my body,'” prosecutor Mark Caliel said.
Woman describes day Donald Smith tried to kidnap her in 1992
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman who testified Tuesday that Donald Smith tried to kidnap her in Jacksonville in 1992 said she would never forget his face. Smith was convicted last week of kidnapping, sexual battery and first-degree murder in the June 2013 death of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle. UNCUT: Kerri-Anne Buck describes day Donald Smith tried to kidnap her (WARNING: Contains explicit language) | GAVEL-TO-GAVEL: Live video and discussion from Courtroom 406Buck, who now lives in New York, tearfully testified that when she was 13 years old and living in Jacksonville, Smith tried to kidnap her. She said she heard Smith's van pull up and he called out that he knew she was in there. After they gave the license plate number to police, a detective called Buck in to see if she could pick Smith out of a photo lineup.
Who was Cherish Perrywinkle before Donald Smith cut her life short?
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Before her angelic young face became entwined with one of the most heinous crimes in Jacksonville history, Cherish Lilly Perrywinkle lived 3,101 days of relative innocence. PHOTOS: Remembering Cherish PerrywinkleIn first grade at Chaffee Trail Elementary School, Cherish was recognized for good citizenship and reading. The night before she was supposed to fly out, Cherish's family met Donald Smith, the man now convicted of cutting her young life tragically short. If she'd never met Smith, Cherish would now be 13 years old. Walmart surveillance video shows Cherish walking out front door with Donald Smith.
Dad of previous Donald Smith victim: Justice isn't done until he's done
Roland Thornton said that child was his then 8-year-old daughter, and Smith wanted to meet her at a McDonald's in Callahan. Smith was initially charged with impersonating a public employee, child abuse, making threats and obscene phone calls in the case. “Justice isn’t done until he’s done.”He said the verdict was a long time coming. Thornton said he will likely be following the case very closely next week during the penalty phase for Smith, knowing that a lot is riding on the jury’s decision. I would push for the death penalty,” Thornton said.
No witnesses called to defend Donald Smith in child murder trial
Cooper asked Smith if he was certain he didn't want to take the stand in his own defense, which he has a right to do. As the state's first defense witness, Rayne Perrywinkle glared at Donald Smith as she began her testimony. 'No one noticed'Surveillance footage from the store caught the image of Smith and Cherish exiting, the girl skipping out behind him. Schlax planned to cross-examine Perrywinkle, but after the mother's testimony, Smith told his attorneys not to ask her any questions. Criminal historyBefore his arrest for Cherish's death, Smith had a long criminal history dating back to the 1970s related to lewd and lascivious conduct.
Murdered 8-year-old's mom tearfully recalls night she met Donald Smith
A Dollar General manager, who was working as a clerk the night Perrywinkle met Smith, later testified that Smith had asked to buy adult magazines at the store before noticing Perrywinkle struggling to afford clothes for her children. Perrywinkle recalled what Smith told her as she walked out the front door. Perrywinkle testified Smith reassured her that he meant them no harm. "I don’t want her to have to go through anything that she does not want to," Smith told Cooper. Schlax indicated her team would be questioning Perrywinkle, but Smith later declined to have them cross-examine her.
Donald Smith jurors told trial will be 'emotional, gut-wrenching'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A panel of 12 jurors and four alternates was seated Friday to hear the first-degree murder trial of Donald Smith. In addition to the trial, if Smith is convicted, the jurors will also hear the penalty phase to determine if he should be sentenced to death. Smith told Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper that he was satisfied with the jurors selected to decide his fate. The trial is expected to last three to four days, with another three to four days for the penalty phase. If Smith is convicted of murder, kidnapping and sexual battery, prosecutors are expected to seek the death penalty for him.
78 potential jurors remaining open to death penalty if Donald Smith is convicted
All of the 78 potential jurors remaining in the pool said they would be able to sentence him to death if they though it was appropriate. Caliel's last request Thursday of the potential jurors: Describe the death penalty in one word. The potential jurors range in age from 20s to 70s. If Smith is convicted of murder, kidnapping and sexual battery, prosecutors are expected to seek the death penalty for him. That fact has played a role for some jurors who cited their religious beliefs that are opposed to the death penalty.
Donald Smith jury pool narrows to 80 in high-profile child murder case
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The pool of potential jurors who will decide Donald Smith's fate has been narrowed to 80, despite difficulties finding people who had not already made up their minds about the accused child killer. The charges have prompted emotional responses from some in the jury pool, which started with hundreds of people Monday. Ninety of those potential jurors were removed for cause. One potential juror on Wednesday said that he already believed Smith was guilty and that “he should be killed. He was dropped from the jury pool.
Dozens cut from jury pool because they 'can't give Donald Smith fair trial'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two days into jury selection for the trial of a man accused of kidnapping, raping and killing an 8-year-old Jacksonville girl, dozens of potential jurors have been dismissed, many because they said they could not give Donald Smith a fair trial. RELATED: Cherish Perrywinkle: The case that shocked Jacksonville | Donald Smith trial: 5 things to know about the high-profile caseCircuit Judge Mallory Cooper said the court would try to seat a jury here before she would consider moving the trial. At least 300 potential jurors made up the initial pool, and about 200 more need to be interviewed. The court wants at least 80 potential jurors that can be narrowed down to 12 jurors and alternates. It’s uncertain if the penalty phase will start immediately.
300 potential jurors in pool to hear Donald Smith trial
If Smith is convicted of murder, kidnapping and sexual battery, prosecutors are expected to seek the death penalty for him. The first of 300 potential jurors in the trial were in the courtroom Monday morning to be briefed on the process, which includes them filling out questionnaires. “Unless they can prove something beforehand, those motions will be denied until they get into the middle of a jury trial,” Nichols said. “I’ve already done some training in the courtroom,” Perrywinkle said. Perrywinkle said she wants the death penalty for Smith and believes he will get a unanimous jury vote.