We, the comrades of Unit 1012, will honor and remember 8-year-old Cherish Lily Perrywinkle who died on June 22, 2013.
We, the comrades of Unit 1012: The VFFDP, will make her one of The 82 murdered children of Unit 1012, where we will not forget her. Let us remember how she lived and not how she died. We will always support her family members. Please go to this previous blog post to learn more about her.
INTERNET SOURCE: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2015-05-12/story/donald-smiths-mother-will-testify-advance-cherish-perrywinkle-murder
Donald Smith's mother will testify in advance of Cherish Perrywinkle murder trial
Tue, May 12, 2015 @ 12:33 pm | updated Tue, May 12, 2015 @ 6:00 pm
A trial date for Donald James Smith has not yet been set for the abduction, rape and killing of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle. But in two months, the first witness to testify in Smith’s case will be his own mother.
Tuesday Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper agreed to let Patricia Moore, Smith’s mother, testify July 2. Prosecutors said Moore needs to testify now because she’s 76 years old and might not be alive or physically able to testify by the time Smith goes on trial.
If Moore is unable to testify when Smith’s actual trial begins, a videotape of the testimony will be shown to jurors. If she is able to testify, the July 2 testimony will be treated as a pretrial deposition, said Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel.
Moore will likely testify to her son’s criminal history and also discuss his actions during the time Cherish Perrywinkle went missing.
Defense attorney Julie Schlax objected, saying there was no reason to take this step when Moore had a good chance of being able to testify whenever the trial occurs. But Caliel countered it is best to get Moore’s testimony now just to be safe, and Cooper agreed.
Cooper said she’d like to try to set a trial date when Moore testifies July 2. But it’s also possible the case could get bogged down in questions of whether Smith, 58, is mentally competent enough to face the death penalty or to face trial at all.
Cooper is expected to retire at the end of 2015 and will likely seek to have the trial occur before she departs so a new judge doesn’t have to take the case over. But several other death-penalty cases have ground to a halt over questions of intellectual disability.
The case previously got delayed over questions of Smith’s representation. The office of Public Defender Matt Shirk represented Smith but said it should be removed because of a conflict of interest representing both Smith and Randall Deviney, who claimed to have information on another killing involving Smith.
Cooper refused to release Shirk’s office from the case, but in February the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee overruled her and ordered the public defender removed.
Schlax and Charles Fletcher, who are private attorneys, are now representing Smith and they are being paid by the state with taxpayer money.
Smith is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual battery. He is a registered sex offender who was released from prison three weeks before Cherish was killed.
He is accused of befriending Cherish, her mother, Rayne Perrywinkle, and siblings at a Dollar General store in June 2013 and convincing them to go to Wal-Mart on Lem Turner Road in his van after offering to buy them clothes and food.
Perrywinkle told police that Smith offered to buy the family hamburgers at the McDonald’s inside the Wal-Mart. Cherish went with him to get the food, and they did not return.
Cherish’s body was found near a creek off Broward Road the next morning.
Larry Hannan: (904) 359-4470