Some potential jurors were visibly shaken in a Jacksonville courtroom, while listening to details regarding the upcoming trial against a Florida man accused of kidnapping, raping, and killing a Florida girl. During pre-trial testimony earlier this week, shocking details emerged when a medical examiner explained the significant injuries found on the little girl’s body.
People reports that the defense tried in vain to keep graphic photos taken of the little girl, Cherish Perrywinkle, out of the upcoming trial, but Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper ruled that the jury will be allowed to see them. Medical Examiner Valerie Rao said that the girl’s injuries were “extremely shocking,” and the photos apparently show the damage that 61-year Donald James Smith allegedly inflicted upon the 8-year-old in 2013.
Around three hundred potential jurors filed into the Jacksonville courtroom this week, where they were shown an up-close photo of a little girl with big brown eyes. One juror exhibited a strong reaction after viewing it, according to NBC’s First Coast News. The same potential juror indicated she was “squeamish” about looking at gory photos, while another possible teared up and said she would “lose it” during a trial involving crimes against a child.
“[The trial will] involve the most graphic photos you could possibly imagine,” Smith’s attorney Julie Schlax replied.
Jury selection for the case that shocked the Jacksonville community and the nation is schedule to begin on February 12.