On Tuesday, during the trial of 61-year-old Donald Smith, accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, the medical examiner on stand broke in tears as the girl’s post-mortem pictures were shown on screen. If convicted, the accused could face life in prison or death.
Cherish Perrywinkle and Family Lured in Walmart by Smith
Dr. Valerie Rao, the medical examiner who conducted 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle’s post-mortem examination and autopsy became emotional in court as the prosecutors displayed pictures of the tortured and murdered child.
Following Rao’s reaction, the defense attorney invoked a mistrial but was overruled by the judge who requested a respite.
According to court documents, back in June 2013, Donald Smith, who got out of jail back in late May, lured Cherish Perrywinkle’s family at the local Walmart under the pretense of buying them food and clothing.
Rayne Perrywinkle, the 8-year-old’s mother, was, at first, reluctant, but accepted as soon as Smith told her that his wife has a $100 Walmart coupon. After entering the store, the man left holding Cherish by the hand.
Seeing that something was amiss and fearing that the man might harm her daughter, Rayne called the authorities and told that Smith abducted her daughter. Later, Cherish’s body was found several miles away, near a marshy area.
According to the post-mortem examination, the 8-year-old was raped, tortured, and choked to death by the individual. Smith was later arrested and charged with first-degree premeditated murder, sexual battery, and kidnapping.
During the trial, Smith faced away from the screen where Cherish’s body was displayed and refused to take a look at the pictures. If he’s found guilty, Smith, who has a criminal history dating back to the late ‘70s, might be sentenced to life in prison or death.
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