SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) – A former auto mechanic found guilty of strangling an 11-year-old Sarasota girl, whose abduction was captured by a security camera and whose case garnered worldwide attention, will receive a new sentencing trial.
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.
Carlie Brucia’s mother Susan Schorpen was found dead from a heroin overdose earlier this year in Polk County.
STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-
- Frontier Airlines expands to 11 cities from Tampa with $34 fares
- Tests showed problems at Pasco sinkhole site in 2012
- Florida’s 2017 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday: What to Know
- WATCH: Big gator darts through traffic on busy Lakeland road
- Better Call Behnken: Owner of Tampa car dealership accused of rolling back odometers arrested
- VIDEO: Foster kids learn of adoption date with special help of Walt Disney World, Mickey Mouse