Death sentence for Florida girl's killer is vacated

Posted at 12:58 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 12:58:22-04

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - A former auto mechanic found guilty of strangling an 11-year-old Florida girl, whose abduction was captured by a security camera and whose case garnered worldwide attention, will receive a new sentencing trial.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Circuit Judge Charles Roberts on Tuesday granted a part of Joseph Smith's motion to vacate his death sentence for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Carlie Brucia.

In December 2005, a jury recommended death for Smith by a 10-2 vote and also imposed concurrent life terms for the sexual assault and kidnapping convictions.

In this latest ruling, Roberts ordered a new penalty phase trial, which does not overturn the verdict in the case. A date for the new sentencing trial has not yet been set.


Information from: Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune,

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