We are essential, and so are you! Our firm is still open for business and accepting new clients. To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering new and current clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.
Free Consultation

Jacksonville Man Sentenced to Death for 2013 Rape and Murder of Child

Execution_chamber_Florida-768x512.jpgA Jacksonville man was sentenced to pay the ultimate price last week after a Duval County jury convicted him of rape and murder.

In February, Donald James Smith was convicted in the 2013 rape and murder of Cherish Perrywinkle, an 8-year-old girl authorities say Smith lured away from her mother with the promise of buying her a cheeseburger.

The jury took just a quarter of an hour to convict Smith, who had been known to the state as a sex offender for many years. Smith had been out of custody less than a month before allegedly carrying out the acts for which he is now heading to Death Row.

Smith's defense team presented no defense to the actions of which he's accused. Rather, the defense argued that significant brain injuries he had sustained in past years robbed him of his impulse control, essentially making him unable to prevent himself from carrying out acts of sex and violence.

However, the argument fell on deaf ears in the jury box. Rather than opting for the lesser penalty of life in prison, jurors took into account Smith's prior history as a felon, his actions to cover for the crimes he'd already committed, and the overall brutality of the crime and opted instead to send him to the death chamber.

The 61-year-old joins 345 men and 3 women currently incarcerated in Florida who have been sentenced to be put to death by the state. His case will automatically be reviewed by Florida's Supreme Court before it is carried out. Until then, Smith will be housed at either Florida State Prison or Union Correctional Institution, both of which are in Raiford.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Member of The Following Legal and Practice Organizations

  • American inns of court
  • norml
  • National association of criminal defense lawyers
  • Clearwater bar association
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Let Us Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Clearwater Office
615 Turner Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

Phone: 727-315-1685
Phone: (727) 446-7505
Fax: 727-446-8147
Clearwater Law Office Map

Tampa Office
1710 N. 19th Street
Unit #210
Tampa, FL 33605

Phone: 727-315-1685
Map & Directions

Please Direct All Correspondence to the Clearwater Office