Cherish Perrywinkle

Lawyers for accused Jacksonville child murderer Donald Smith are trying to block the death penalty in his case in light of Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling.

The high court struck down Florida’s death sentencing procedure.


Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

The trial of the man accused of murdering 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle has been set for early April.

Donald Smith is accused of kidnapping Perrywinkle from a Walmart on the city’s Northside two years ago.

Smith is also charged with rape and murder.


A judge postponed the trial of Donald Smith, the man charged with raping and murdering 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, at a pretrial hearing Wednesday. Our news partner News4Jax has the full report.

Kevin Daniels, Rayne Perrywinkle and climate change are in the headlines today.

Steve Roberts, Cherish Perrywinkle, and Johnny Manziel are in the headlines today.

Internet cafes, Angela Corey, and Jameis Winston are in the headlines today.

News4Jax

Florida lawmakers want to toughen the state’s sexual predator laws and they’ve said the reforms will be the centerpiece of this year’s legislative session.

Michael Dunn, Pop Tarts, and lethal injection are in the headlines today.

Jameis Winston, Cherish Perrywinkle, and Nelson Mandela are in the headlines today.

Jordan Davis, Aundra Wallace, and Jameis Winston are in the headlines today.

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Alvin Brown, Rayne Perrywinkle, and Rick Scott are in the headlines today.

The Mathews Bridge is open, new documents in Cherish Perrywinkle case, and medical marijuana are in the headlines today.

Jacksonville faces criticism over St. Johns algae, Cherish Perrywinkle among victims to be honored tonight, and a South Florida police department's decision to stop selling cocaine are in the headlines today.

Welcome to WJCT First Read (T.G.I.F. edition), your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Karen Feagins / WJCT

At a hearing Wednesday afternoon at Jacksonville City Hall, state legislators, law enforcement officials and mental health professionals discussed what new legislation might protect children from sexual offenders and predators. 

Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, called the hearing following the June abduction and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle.

The man accused of Perrywinkle's murder is a repeat sex offender who had been released from jail only about a month before her death.

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