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Donald Smith Sentenced To Death For Murder Of Cherish Perrywinkle

Donald Smith has been sentenced to death following his conviction of kidnapping, raping and murdering Cherish Perrywinkle.

Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper followed a jury's recommendation and sentenced Donald Smith to death Wednesday in the 2013 rape and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle.

Cooper, who came out of retirement to see the high-profile case through, handed down the death penalty for Perrywinkle's murder and life sentences for the remaining counts, according to our News4Jax partner.

Earlier, Cooper denied motions from Smith's defense attorneys that sought a new trial and new penalty phase for their client, on the grounds that he did not receive a fair trial.

Jurors recommended in February that Smith, 61, be put to death for his crimes after finding him guilty of first-degree murder, sexual battery and kidnapping charges in the little girl's slaying.

You can read a longer version of this story on News4Jax.