HARROWING images of the battered body of an eight-year-old girl who was raped and brutally killed have left an entire jury traumatised and in tears.
Cherish Perrywinkle was abducted from a Florida Walmart before being sexually assaulted and strangled until her eyes bled by a man who convinced her he was just a ‘Good Samaritan’.
Donald Smith, 61, has appeared in court charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape of the eight-year-old girl in June 2013.
He faces the death penalty if convicted.
At his trial, the court was shown video of the moment Smith led the child away from her family while out shopping.
The court was also shown graphic images of the state of the child’s body, leading jury members to gasp in horror and break down in tears.
The images were so disturbing that the medical examiner giving evidence about the injuries sustained looked so traumatised that she needed a break in proceedings.
Jacksonville chief medical examiner Dr Valerie Rao stopped her testimony as images of the child were displayed in the Florida courtroom, saying: “She had so much trauma, the anatomy was totally distorted by the injury she suffered.
“She died after she sustained tremendous force on her neck such that she could not breathe.”
Dr Rao, visibly shaken, then asked the court for a five-minute break.
Sources from the courtroom claim the man accused to the child’s horrific murder “turned his back when autopsy pictures were shown”.
Smith had been released from prison just 21 days before he abducted and murdered the little girl and had been on the sex offenders register since 1993.
Devastating footage was released during the trial last year showing the moment the young girl was approached while out with her mother and sisters.
He lured the child away from her mother with the promise of new clothes after overhearing the mother complaining of being unable to afford new dresses for her daughters.
The CCTV footage documents the last time the child was seen alive.
Post-mortem reports found severe injuries and contusions all over her body, and concluded that the eight-year-old had been strangled with a piece of clothing after being tortured and raped.
Smith was arrested 10 hours after the child was abducted after his vehicle was spotted by a police officer.
The little girl’s half-naked body was found outside a church the following day.
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