Tearful mother testifies about 8-year-old's abduction


Rayne Perrywinkle, the 8-year-old's mother, was, at first, reluctant, but accepted as soon as Smith told her that his wife has a $100 Walmart coupon.

Smith is charged with the first-degree murder, rape and kidnapping of Cherish Perrywinkle.

If the panel finds Smith guilty, the jurors will be asked to sentence him to death.

Visibly shaken, she then said: 'I'm sorry, I need to take a break. He offered to take them to a nearby Walmart and make purchases with a gift card. Perrywinkle said that she was apprehensive, but when Smith said that his wife would meet them at the store, she conceded. She told the court she believed her daughter would be safe because the McDonald's was just inside the store. I don't want him to kill her. "This is all about the death penalty portion of the case from a mitigation standpoint, and that might be one reason why (he thought it was) a bad idea to cross-examine Rayne Perrywinkle".

Rayne Perrywinkle said Smith had been hovering around she and her three daughters while they shopped at a discount store earlier in the day. They went to a nearby Walmart and she began shopping with her girls, placing three small piles of clothing in a shopping cart.

At around 10 p.m., the girls were extremely hungry. Rayne said her daughters were getting restless because they had not had dinner.

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Rayne Perrywinkle said some 20 minutes later, she realized the McDonald's inside the Walmart was closed and she began to panic. Her cellphone didn't work - a daughter had dunked it in water to try and clean it - so she cried out for help, realising her daughter had been taken.

"I was yelling, 'Call 911". She is heard telling a dispatcher, "I feel like a fool", and saying she couldn't remember what Smith was wearing or what his license plate was, Bourne tweeted. She meant to cross-examine Perrywinkle, but after the grieving mother's testimony, Smith reportedly asked her not to.

During 45 minutes of testimony on Tuesday, which left jurors in tears and had them covering their eyes, Dr Rao listed the dozens of injuries Cherish had sustained during her final moments, including bruises and cuts on her knees and thighs.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson said: 'Cherish did not die quickly, and she did not die easily, in fact, hers was a brutal and tortured death'. "She would never see her daughter Cherish alive again". He gagged her with such force, her gums and nostrils bled. When Smith was arrested, he was allegedly wet from the waist down. When he found out Perrywinkle didn't have a auto of her own, he somehow convinced her to ride with him to pick up the card at a nearby Walmart.

"He looked into my face and told me I was safe", Perrywinkle said in court.

Smith, who has a criminal record dating back to the 1970s, is represented by public defenders.