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Trial to start for man charged in 8-year-old girl's death
Feb 12

Editors Note APNewsNow.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Jurors in Florida are scheduled to hear opening statements in the trial of a man who faces a possible death sentence if convicted in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in 2013.

Donald Smith faces first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual battery charges related to Cherish Perrywinkle's kidnapping and death in Jacksonville.

The 61-year-old Smith is accused of killing Perrywinkle after luring her family to Walmart in June 2013 with promises to buy food and clothing. Perrywinkle's mother called 911 after she suspected Smith had left with the girl.

Jurors are expected to see autopsy photographs of Perrywinkle's injuries, which led many potential jurors to tell the court they would have problems serving.

Smith, who has a criminal record dating back to the 1970s, is represented by public defenders.

By The Associated Press, Copyright 2019