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Convicted killer of 11-year-old Florida girl dies in prison

By AP | Jul 26, 2021

SARASOTA (AP) — A man who was convicted of abducting, raping and killing an 11-year-old Florida girl as she walked home in 2004 died in prison on Monday, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

Joseph Smith was on Florida’s death row for killing Carlie Brucia in Sarasota. The cause of death was not known, officials said.

Smith was captured on video surveillance leading the child by the wrist as she walked past a car wash in Sarasota.

He was awaiting a resentencing hearing, which had been scheduled for next year, the Sarasota News-Herald reported. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that juries must be unanimous in death penalty cases, but the 2005 jury voted 10-2.

“While nothing can bring back Carlie, we are grateful that her family, her friends, and the entire Sarasota community will finally have closure and will not have to endure any further court proceedings to bring Smith to justice,” State Attorney Ed Brodsky said in a statement.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.