CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

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CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:29 pm

Sex offender charged with murdering Jacksonville girl, 8       

Last Updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013, 5:12 PM

Charish Perriwinkle, 8, (left) was found dead in a Jacksonville church Saturday, June 22, 2013. Her alleged killer, Donald Smith (right), a registered sex offender, has been arrested and charged with murder.

JACKSONVILLE -- 
The man suspected of killing Jacksonville child Charish Perriwinkle, 8, has been charged with murder.

Members with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Saturday that 56-year-old Donald Smith, a registered sex offender who has been convicted in the past of kidnapping, acted alone in the incident.

Charish's body was found Saturday morning. She went missing while shopping with her mother Friday night.

Sheriff's deputies said in that same press conference Saturday afternoon, Charish's mother met Smith at a Dollar General at 7 p.m. Friday night. He apparently befriended them, and asked if he could buy them clothes at a nearby Walmart on Lem Turner Road.

The family and Smith then went to Walmart. Officials say they were in the store for several hours.

Smith then took Charish to get some good at a McDonald's inside the Walmart. He then walked out of the store with her and into a white van. Deputies are not saying what was in the van when they found it.

Officials received a call about the missing girl at 11 p.m. Friday.

Charish's mother provided detectives with a description of the suspect, which investigators then used to identify Smith as possible suspect, a police report said.

When Charish's mother was shown a photo of Smith, she identified him as the man who abducted her daughter, deputies said.
Charish's body was found at an unnamed church on Broward Road on Saturday. Smith was taken into custody later that morning after officers surrounded his van.



Details emerging about Donald Smith


A quick scan of Smith's personal file shows he lived at the Palace Mobile Home Park in St. Petersburg for a short time after his release from prison in 2007.  The park, in its infancy back then, is a place where sex offenders can live freely and go through rehabilitation while on probation.

There is very little in Smith's file about his time there. Nobody there now remembers his stay.  His therapist at the time said the only notes he has on Smith show he was getting on top of his issues and his attendance at therapy sessions was good.

The Department of Corrections sent Smith to the mobile home park shortly after his release, but they allowed him to leave after only eight weeks.

Therapist Don Sweeney worked with Smith at the time and still works with residents who live there today. Sweeney said his time in the facility just wasn't enough.

"Probationers are sometimes sent here only for a month or two, and there isn't a whole lot we can do," he said. "We can maybe break some ice, but we're talking a couple of years in therapy, minimum."

Sweeney said that six years later, it is far more common for sex offenders going through the program to live at the Palace for at least two years.

"They come here, and we try to get them to open up, and we do a pretty good job of it, but it takes some time," he said. "This isn't a quick fix thing."

Jacksonville deputies say they did an address check on Smith Friday morning. He had done everything required of him as a registered sex offender up until that point.

An address check is required once a month.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2013/6/22/amber_alert_issued_f.html


Last edited by twinkletoes on Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:59 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Correct name spelling)
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:40 pm

8-year-old's body found at Northside church; sex offender in custody


Man seen leaving Jacksonville Walmart with girl released from jail 21 days ago

Published On: Jun 22 2013 05:38:56 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 22 2013 02:50:00 PM EDT

10:15 AM: Police announce Charish Perriwinkle's body was found


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Just over an hour after a 56-year-old sex offender seen leaving a Northside Walmart Friday night with an 8-year-old girl was arrested Saturday morning, police say the girl's body was found at a Northside church.

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Police say Donald Smith left the Walmart on Lem Turner Road with Charish Perriwinkle.  He was taken into custody in a traffic stop about 9 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 95, but the girl was not with him.

About 10:15 a.m., an emotional Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman announced the victim's body was found at a church on Broward Road.

"We located the body of Charish Perriwinkle," Officer Shannon Hartley said. "A very difficult time, obviously, for everyone involved."

Police say the child apparently left the store with Smith in a 1998 white Dodge 1500 van, Florida tag number BCBK32. That vehicle was stopped about 9 a.m. Saturday on I-95 near the Interstate 10 split.

Officer Hartley said Smith pulled over and offered no resistance as he was taken into custody. There was no sign of the girl in the van.

Within 30 minutes, police said they received a lead that led them to the church -- which Hartley did not name -- where the body was found.

AS IT HAPPENED:  Police announce Charish Perriwinkle's body was found
Police say officers were called to the Walmart on Lem Turner Road at 11 p.m. Friday to a report of a missing girl.  They quickly determined the girl was abducted. Overnight, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a statewide Amber Alert.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Sgt. Lonnie Mills said Smith met and befriended the mother and her three children at the store and took Charish to get her a snack.

"When he got to the front of the store under the guise of going to the McDonalds, (he) just continued, got into the vehicle with her and was last seen driving south on Lem Turner," Mills said.

Based on the description of the suspect provided by the victim’s mother, detectives showed her a photograph of Donald J. Smith (pictured, right in Walmart surveillance photo) and she identified him as the person that had taken Charish.

Smith has been in Florida's sex offender database since a 1992 conviction in Duval County for attempted kidnapping and selling obscene materials.  According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office jail database, Smith was arrested in 2003 on charges of burglary and dealing in stolen property and in 2006 for a parole violation.

In 2009 Smith was charged with child abuse, making obscene phone calls to a 10-year-old girl and making verbal threats.  According to the arrest report he claimed he was a social worker with the Florida Department of Children and Families and told the family they were under investigation by the state.

With the approval of the family, Smith was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of attempted child abuse and attempted impersonation of a public employee.  Smith was just released May 31.

After his release, neighbors said Smith lived with his mother in her home on Segovia Avenue in Lakewood. The address is within a half mile of Dupont Middle School.

Among many things police are investigating in connection with what is now a homicide case is a second vehicle that may have been involved. They do not have a good description and only a pixilated picture of that vehicle (right), which they believe to be a car.

Anyone who has any information about the case is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or by email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward, contact Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

"Hug your children closely right now and know where they're at," Officer Hartley said. "Keep them close."


http://www.news4jax.com/news/amber-alert-issued-for-missing-girl-8-taken-from-jacksonville-walmart/-/475880/20673410/-/140v30n/-/index.html
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:51 am

Police, sources, media misspelled Cherish Perrywinkle's name

Posted: June 23, 2013 - 1:23pm  |  Updated: June 23, 2013 - 5:32pm

The name of Cherish Lily Perrywinkle, the 8-year-old girl who was kidnapped and killed Friday night, has been spelled multiple, wrong ways in different media reports, including in The Florida Times-Union.

When an Amber Alert was first sent out for Perrywinkle, it spelled her name Charish Perriwinkle. Two victim’s advocates, Ann Dugger with the Justice Coalition and Kathy Pannell with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, confirmed the spelling.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokesman Officer Shannon Hartley had sent a news release spelling her name “Charish Perrywinkle.” He did not respond to an email Saturday asking why he spelled the name differently.

However, when a reporter asked Rayne Perrywinkle, through a victim’s advocate, to spell her daughter’s name, she said it was spelled “Cherish Perrywinkle.”

Court documents and arrest reports had also previously used “Cherish Periwinkle” and “Charish Lilly Perrywinkle.”

http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-06-23/story/police-sources-media-misspelled-cherish-perrywinkles-name#ixzz2X6t4Vfs5
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by willcarney on Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:15 pm

Death for a death.  He should never get the chance to kill again.  William
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by willcarney on Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:14 pm

Funeral for slain Florida 8-year-old scheduled
Posted: Jun 28, 2013 7:53 AM CDT
By Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, FL -
When a fellow shopper at a dollar store offered to take Rayne Perrywinkle and her three children to Wal-Mart to buy them McDonald's and buy a dress for her 8-year-old daughter, she graciously accepted.

But police say the man was a predator, not a Good Samaritan, who seized the opportunity to snatch the woman's daughter and kill her. The slaying marked a tragic end to Cherish Perrywinkle's short life, most of which she spent with a mother who fought with the girl's father over child support and custody. Cherish's funeral is Friday.

The Paxon Revival Center Church will celebrate Cherish's life at 2 p.m.

The man accused of killing the 8-year-old, Donald Smith, had a lengthy rap sheet of convictions for sex crimes against children and had gotten out of prison less than a month earlier. And the sheriff in Jacksonville has said hours passed between the time police learned of the girl's abduction and when the first public alerts were sent, which he blamed on a failure in the chain of command.

The case has saddened and angered folks in Jacksonville, leaving some to wonder: How could this have happened?

"Yeah, it hit us hard," said 26-year-old Katie Weaver, who wiped away tears on a recent day as her two children, ages 6 and 4, left stuffed animals at a roadside memorial for Cherish.

Cherish was born after her mother, an exotic dancer, and her father, a sailor, had a one-night stand in 2004. Perrywinkle, 45, sued the father, Billy Jarreau, 43, for child support three years later, and the two fought for custody of the girl for the rest of her life. They traded accusations over how the girl got head lice and how she was dressed, as well as money.
In April 2010, a court-appointed evaluator recommended that Cherish live with her father - who, by that time, had moved to California with his new wife. The evaluator wrote that "neither parent was perfect" and acknowledged that it was the hardest case he had ever tackled.

The evaluator said that Jarreau "hasn't shown himself to be a real enthusiastic player in terms of parental involvement," and noted that it might be difficult for Cherish to move across the country away from her mother. But Perrywinkle had some troubling issues, the report noted, including eviction, a lack of money and some admitted mental health issues that led her to make poor choices.

"I fear for the child's future living with Ms. Perrywinkle," wrote evaluator Robert Wood. "I do not make my recommendation lightly. I have given many, many hours of thought to the case."

Despite that recommendation, a Jacksonville judge ruled Cherish should live with her mother.

That same year, down the halls of the very same courthouse, another man's case snaked through the legal system. Donald James Smith, charged with impersonating a state child welfare officer and making an obscene call to a young girl in 2009, attended hearings for years and was eventually found guilty - but with time served he was ordered to spend only a year in jail.

Smith had been arrested 19 times since 1977. He had been found guilty on lewd and lascivious charges, charges of trying to lure girls in a van and charges of showing pornography to minors.

Richard Kuritz, a Jacksonville defense attorney who is not connected to this case, said that Smith's light treatment on the 2009 charge underscores how difficult it is to prosecute some sex crimes. Jacksonville prosecutors, he said, are not known for seeking light sentences.

"Often times the state's hands are tied and the state will resolve a case for less than what they want because the victim doesn't want to go through the process," he said. And with cases such as the one in 2009 - where Smith was accused of posing as a state worker and then making an obscene phone call to a girl - there is little physical evidence.

"The fact that this guy got a decent deal, speaks volumes," Kuritz said. "There must have been a problem with the state's case."

Smith was released May 31 but was still being monitored by authorities as a condition of parole. Officers even checked in on Smith the morning of June 21 in the home he shared with his mother. That same evening, he met Perrywinkle and her children.
According to court records and police reports, Perrywinkle didn't have a car. Police said Smith saw she seemed like she needed money. So he offered to buy the dress for Cherish, who was supposed to fly to California the next day to visit her father, and the family climbed into his van and headed to Wal-Mart.

Surveillance video shows they spent a couple of hours in the store, and Smith then took Cherish with him to buy McDonald's for the family. But they never got the hamburgers - Smith took Cherish outside, got into his van with her and left, said Jacksonville Police Director Mike Williams.

Perrywinkle called authorities, and an all-night search ensued. Officers compiled a list of nearby sex offenders, and Perrywinkle identified Smith as a suspect.

Nine hours later, Cherish's body was found a few miles away, near a church.

Smith is in jail without bail, awaiting his next court hearing. His public defender did not return a call for comment, and his mother was not home when an Associated Press reporter visited.

Gerald Wilkerson, the attorney for Cherish's father in the custody case, said his client is devastated. Jarreau himself posted about the tragedy on his Facebook page, blaming failures in the "system" for his daughter's death.

On a recent day at Rayne Perrywinkle's home, her boyfriend and the father of her two youngest children, Aharon Pearson, walked outside and asked a reporter, "Do you have the number for Child Protective Services?" He initially thought the state's child welfare agency had taken their children, but later explained he misunderstood Perrywinkle and that the children had been taken only for an interview.

Pearson said things had been hectic because of the need to plan Cherish's funeral. He said his girlfriend wasn't doing well and could not talk at the green home, where three faded, plastic children's tricycles were lined up on the porch.

"She won't eat," he said. "She hasn't eaten for four days."

http://www.wfla.com/story/22711787/funeral-for-slain-florida-8-year-old-scheduled

Hopefully he won't get off on some mental and gets executed.  Florida does have and use the death penalty.  William
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm

This evil pervert should never have been let out of prison.
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by mom_in_il on Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:13 pm

New evidence links Donald Smith to Cherish Perrywinkle at Walmart

Reported by: Noël McLaren
Published: 10/28 5:05 pm
Updated: 10/29 6:28 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Hundreds of pages of explicit documents and more than 700 gut-wrenching photos tell the story of the last moments of Cherish Perrywinkle's life, behind a church in the back of a murky old van.

From scratches on suspect Donald Smith's arms, to Smith's fingerprints on rope and other suspicious materials at Walmart, where Cherish was last seen alive.

The medical examiner's report reveals Cherish was sexually assaulted and strangled, and on page two of the FDLE report, Donald Smith's DNA links him as a "contributor."

Prosecutors also released recordings of phone conversations with Smith's mother and detectives from a separate case in 2009.

"That's his fear that he won't get a fair shake in court," she said in the recording.

During the phone calls, she fights for her son's innocence.

"He has never touched a child he really he's just never around children, children are just not his thing," she said.

But the new documents and photos from the State Attorney's Office may prove otherwise.

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/New-evidence-links-Donald-Smith-to-Cherish/_8KyrhbWMkaJm_ut8DeSLQ.cspx
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:14 pm

Donald Smith, arrested in Cherish Perrywinkle abduction, says execution would be 'simple, happy and peaceful'

Thu, Dec 5, 2013 @ 6:52 pm | updated Fri, Dec 6, 2013 @ 6:25 am



Prosecutors want to execute Donald James Smith for the rape and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle. According to newly released police reports, that is something Smith might welcome.

Thursday the State Attorney’s Office released 189-pages of police reports detailing what dozens of officers did during the search for Cherish and the eventual arrest of Smith. The documents were requested by The Florida Times-Union under public records laws.

Smith was arrested June 22. A few days later when he was brought into a police interview room to photograph bruising on his body, a police officer asked him if there was anything he needed. Smith asked police to call his mother to hire Ann Finnell, a prominent defense attorney.

But while walking back to his cell, Smith changed his mind.

“Tell my mother don’t call Ann Finnell,” Smith said. “They’re going to kill me anyway. There’s no sense spending the money.”

Smith’s mother also visited him in jail July 19. Police recorded the meeting, and Smith told his mother he couldn’t go to prison because he knew he would be raped and murdered there.

He talked about how if he was on Death Row, his death would be “simple, happy and peaceful.”

Death Row inmates are also segregated from the regular prisoner population, meaning Smith wouldn’t have to fear reprisal from as many people.
Smith, 57, is accused of befriending Rayne Perrywinkle and her young children at the Dollar General store on June 21 and convincing them all to go to Walmart in his van after offering to buy them clothes and food.

Perrywinkle told police that about 11 p.m. Smith offered to buy the family hamburgers at the McDonald’s inside the Walmart on Lem Turner Road. Perrywinkle let her daughter go with him. They did not return.

Cherish’s body was found near a creek off Broward Road. Police found her wedged underneath an old tree that had fallen in the grassy marsh area of the creek.

Smith was arrested after his van was stopped on Interstate 95.

The police reports released on Thursday also shed light on why there was a delay in notifying the chain of command and media about the abduction. Lt. Rob Schoonover, then the leader of the Sheriff’s Office homicide unit, Sgt. Lonnie Mills, who led the squad of detectives called to the crime scene, and four communications officers were reprimanded for how they handled notifications and alerts in the abduction.

The internal investigation said Mills “had concerns regarding the mother’s response to her child, and felt it was not unrealistic that the mother could have been lying.”

The police reports spell that out in more detail.

Soon after police arrived at the Walmart, Perrywinkle told police she didn’t want Cherish to go to California to see her father, as she was scheduled to do the next day. This led police to suspect Perrywinkle may have staged the abduction to keep her daughter from her dad.

Officers at the scene noticed a lack of tears when Perrywinkle was crying, found it odd that she and her boyfriend started arguing over purchases she made at the Dollar General and were surprised to hear her repeatedly say she believed Cherish had probably been raped and murdered in a matter of fact voice that displayed no emotion.

But those suspicions were dropped when they saw video of Smith taking Cherish out of the store. The Department of Children and Family Services later removed Perrywinkle’s two younger children from her home and put them in foster care, saying they were doing it for the safety of the children.

Those children are still in foster care.


http://members.jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-12-05/story/donald-smith-arrested-cherish-perrywinkle-abduction-says-execution-would?utm_source=Morris%20Digital%20Works&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Jacksonville.com%3ALocalNewsStories
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:53 am

JSO lieutenant appeals punishment after abduction case
Lt. Rob Schoonover, Sheriff John Rutherford testify about Cherish Perrywinkle


Published On: Apr 03 2014 10:11:22 PM EDT

Detective defends actions
Show Transcript
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The police lieutenant in charge of tracking down Cherish Perrywinkle the night she was abducted and killed appealed his punishment Thursday night in front of the civil service board.

Lt. Rob Schoonover's hearing in front of the civil service board lasted close to four hours Thursday night.

Schoonover was suspended by Sheriff John Rutherford for three days because he was in charge the night that Perrywinkle disappeared.

Schoonover explained Thursday why an Amber Alert wasn't issued for Perrywinkle. He referenced his communication with a sergeant at the scene about the abduction.

"He told me there were some questions of (it) being a true abduction," said Schoonover. "They reviewed the video from Walmart and it showed the suspect, (the) child's mother and two kids up and down the aisles with a cart putting items in it for at least two hours."

Schoonover told the board that the sergeant told him they watched Perrywinkle get in a van with Donald Smith, the man now charged with her murder, and then drive away with seemingly no problems.Detective defends actions

"As (a) homicide lieutenant I'm playing all the factors. Was the mother doing this because mother was supposed to visit dad in morning, take a flight out? We deal with these things continuously," said Schoonover (pictured, right).

Schoonover said he delayed the decision to issue an Amber Alert, and in his testimony he said that 99 percent of missing-person cases turn out to not be abductions.

Rutherford also testified Thursday night and at times he was blunt in his assessment of Shoonover's actions, specifically about the fact that Schoonover did not get out of bed the night Perrywinkle was abducted.

"If Lt. Schoonover had gotten out of bed, I don't know (if) it would've changed anything. But I'll tell you what, if it had been one of your children wouldn't you at least to have wanted us to try?" said Rutherford.

Schoonover admitted Thursday during the hearing that he did not go to the scene the night Perrywinkle was abducted and killed.

"Why didn't you go to the scene?" asked a civil service board member.

"At that point with information we had no bona fides, no abduction. Yes, (the) child is missing, I'll give you that. She's missing but with all the information, watching the video and him telling me what we had I did not feel it was necessary to go out there at that time," answered Schoonover.

Rutherford told the board that his agency made a mistake and even though there were some questions about Perrywinkle's mother that night, an 8-year-old girl was missing and they needed to make this a worst-case scenario.

"What that did was limit the ability for me as a sheriff to say to the community, and more importantly the mother, we did everything possible to save that child. Well, I can't say that," said Rutherford.

In the end, the civil services board decided to give Schoonover a lighter punishment than what the sheriff handed down. Schoonover received a written reprimand from the board instead of a suspension.

Schoonover also reiterated his desire to be the next sheriff in Jacksonville. Schoonover announced he was running for sheriff before Perrywinkle was abducted and killed.

"We said from the get go this was too harsh a punishment. Now I want to move forward and concentrate on the election," said Schoonover.

Schoonover did testify he's handled multiple abduction calls, but this was the first where the victim was a child.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/jso-lieutenant-appeals-punishment-after-abduction-case/25315374
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by mom_in_il on Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:59 pm

Posted: 5:47 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lieutenant breaks silence over Perrywinkle case
By Leslie Coursey

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Cherish Perrywinkle, 8, disappeared from a Northside Walmart in June 2013.  She was kidnapped, police say, by registered sex offender, Donald Smith.

Within nine hours, Cherish would be dead , Smith would be in custody and the police officer in charge of the investigation would be under fire.

“"It's definitely going to be with me for the rest of my life,” said Lt. Rob Schoonover with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Schoonover is a 33-year veteran of JSO. He was at home the night Perrywinkle disappeared. He had just returned from a trip. He was getting updates by phone from the sergeant on scene -- standard procedure, he said.

“I was home. I got the call. I was not tired. It was just based on our protocol that we let the team go out there and vet the information, see what it's going to lead to before I run out there every night, every call," he said.

He didn’t physically go to the scene right away -- a move that would eventually lead to an internal investigation and disciplinary action by Sheriff John Rutherford. Schoonover was removed from the homicide unit and reassigned to patrol.

Action News asked him if he regretted not going to the scene sooner.

“You know we can always look back," he said. "If I had all that information up front, most definitely I would have been at that scene.”

While he was getting almost-constant phone calls, he said there was a time, between his go-ahead to issue the Amber Alert and when Perrywinkle's body was found, when he wasn’t updated.

“I wish I was there. I do. But I just didn't get the call and that's something that I've had to deal with," he said.

“Have you lost sleep over it?" asked Action News' Leslie Coursey.

You know, I did at first," he said. "When you're the unit commander of the homicide unit, you do take things personally because you want to see justice for the victims.”

Lt. Schoonover is now running for sheriff -- a plan he had even before Perrywinkle's disappearance.  He believes his punishment was too harsh. But he’s had to live with the consequences for a year now.

“I stand by what I did and I have to accept that," he said. "I just hope people understand that this was just one incident -- that hopefully it won't tarnish my whole career.”

- See more at: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/news/lieutenant-breaks-silence-over-perrywinkle-case/ngSW3/#sthash.djlaGA8M.dpuf
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by mom_in_il on Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:01 pm

Trial for man accused of killing 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle delayed until October

Posted: March 19, 2014 - 10:13am  
Updated: March 19, 2014 - 9:22pm
By Larry Hannan

A registered sex offender facing Death Row in the abduction, rape and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle will not go on trial in Jacksonville until October.

Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper agreed Wednesday to delay the trial of Donald James Smith, 57, until Oct. 6 with a death penalty phase set to start Oct. 13, if needed. The trial had been set to begin May 12....

http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2014-03-19/story/trial-man-accused-killing-8-year-old-cherish-perrywinkle-delayed-until#ixzz35knMTzDr
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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:14 am

DCF failing Cherish Perrywinkle's siblings, former caretakers say

Family: Department shrouds itself in a cloak of confidentiality


By Derek Gilliam Mon, Jul 14, 2014 @ 6:23 pm | updated Tue, Jul 15, 2014 @


Will.Dickey@jacksonville.com
Amy and Bill Decker hold photos of Destiny and Nevaeh Perrywinkle, younger sisters of Cherish, who was abducted and killed last summer. The Deckers took the younger girls into their home for about 14 weeks afterward.





A look at the events surrounding the abduction and death of Cherish Perrywinkle (Times are approximate).

Friday morning: Police make contact with Donald James Smith at the San Jose neighborhood home where he is a registered sexual offender.

7 p.m. Friday (Dollar General): Jacksonville police say Cherish Perriwinkle’s mother met Donald James Smith, 56, at Dollar General.

11 p.m. Friday (Walmart Supercenter): Cherish’s mother reports the 8-year-old girl missing to police. Authorities say the mother and Donald James Smith went to Walmart after Smith offered to buy the family some clothes.

9 a.m. Saturday (I-95/I-10): Police pull over and surround Donald James Smith’s white 1998 Dodge van on I-95 South near the I-10 split.

10 a.m. Saturday (Highlands Baptist Church): The body of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle is found near the church.

Source: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office



Licensed social worker Amy Decker, who’s been in private practice since 2000, believed in Florida’s Department of Children and Families. But not anymore.

The department asked Decker and her husband, Bill, to provide a temporary home for Rayne Perrywinkle and Aharon Pearson’s children — 6-year-old Destiny and 5-year-old Nevaeh — after the abduction, rape and death of 8-year-old Cherish Lilly Perrywinkle last year.

Since then, the department told her it was looking for a home that could become permanent if needed. However, the children were placed in with foster parents who have no plans to adopt, Decker said.

A judge ordered the Deckers, who had the girls for about 14 weeks, visitation so the children wouldn’t endure another traumatic loss in their lives. Decker said seen them twice, once without permission, since October. She said department officials ignored other attempts to schedule a visit.

Children and Families told the Deckers the foster home where the girls were placed was the best it could provide. Decker said the home wasn’t adequately equipped to care for the children and no one involved in the girls’ case plan visited the home beforehand. Also, the foster family had only cared for one foster child before, she said.

“We believed them until we didn’t anymore because behaviors did not support that,” she said about the agency.

Bill Decker said he’s disheartened and thinks the system is failing Destiny and Nevaeh. He said his family hasn’t received nor asked for compensation to care for the children.

“Since the beginning, the priority Amy and I have is the safety of the girls,” he said.

What bothers the Deckers the most is the children are still on a one-track path of parent reunification, and it doesn’t appear that Perrywinkle or Pearson are any closer to straightening out their lives enough to reclaim the girls, she said.

“This is a high-profile case. This is them [Children and Families] trying to get everything right,” Decker said.

David Abramowitz, Children and Families Northeast regional director, said in all dependency cases the department’s primary focus is the best interest of the children.

“We have concurrent goals in these types of cases — meaning that we plan for both [parent] reunification and for adoption,” he said. “We do not have the authority to implement the adoption goals until or unless the parents’ rights are terminated.”

Children and Families spokesman John Harrell couldn’t answer specific questions about the dependency case because of state confidentiality laws, including: the current status, why was it transferred to another judge, the progress the parents have made, what the department has done to ensure a “timely” permanent solution, the foster-care family experience, the conditions of the Perrywinkle home before the children were removed or why the Deckers weren’t allowed visitation.

“Our hands are tied with what we can say legally,” Harrell said.

Harrell also said state confidentially laws prevent him from commenting on Pearson’s son, who also lived with the family according to Children and Family investigation reports released after Cherish’s death.

“The laws mandate that DCF cannot confirm whether there have or have not been prior investigations regarding a specific person,” Harrell said. “An exception is granted in the laws when a child has died and when DCF determines that the death was due to abuse or neglect.”

He said all foster families receive extensive training in regard to the question about the children’s current foster family. He also said the agency only provides recommendations to judges, and judges make all custody decisions.

“I can assure you this, we follow court orders,” Harrell said.

Attempts to contact Perrywinkle for comments for this story, including messages left with people who could reach her, were unsuccessful. Pearson’s phone number has been changed and he couldn’t be reached for comment either.

Amy Decker said Children and Families shrouds itself in a cloak of confidentiality. She said this leads to little transparency and no accountability.

The one-year mark since the children were removed from their parents passed Wednesday.

By law the state can terminate parental rights if a parent fails to “substantially comply with the case plan for a period of 12 months. ... Time is of the essence for permanency of children in the dependency system,” state law reads.

It’s been more than a year since police charged Donald Smith with murder. He met Perrywinkle and her children at a Northside dollar store before giving them a ride to Walmart. Smith is accused of kidnapping, strangling and raping Cherish on June 21, 2013. He has a court hearing Wednesday.

Decker said that ever since Perrywinkle, now 46, shepherded her children into Smith’s van, the girls’ futures have been uncertain.
That night, they each could have died. Now, they don’t know where home is.

This wasn’t Amy Decker’s first contact with Perrywinkle or her children. She tried to help well before the front-page stories and the TV news segments.

Decker met the Perrywinkles while volunteering in the community — something she has routinely done for years. She said she connected Perrywinkle, who then went by the name Kimberly Hoy, to community services and tried to teach her life skills.

Decker recalled seeing Destiny when she was a newborn. The last time she saw Cherish, the little girl was barely more than a toddler.

So when the news came about Cherish’s death, Decker reached out to Perrywinkle and asked if she could help again.

Decker said she was invited into Perrywinkle’s home and found the living conditions deplorable. The bathroom didn’t have running water. The toilet wasn’t seated to the floor. Mold saturated an entire room, she said.

What she finds unbelievable is that Children and Families had monitored the family for more than a year.

“It should have been condemned,” Decker said of the home.

She said she offered Perrywinkle and her children to come stay with them, and the girls’ mother reluctantly accepted.

After at most a day and a half, Perrywinkle said she needed to go back to the house but left her children with the couple, Decker said.

About that time, a lawyer with Children and Families called and told Decker they were removing the children from the care of their parents and asked, since the children were already familiar with the Deckers, could they provide a safe, nurturing home. They accepted.

“They were in a totally different world in our house,” she said.

Because of the trauma in their lives, the girls experienced emotional difficulties, Decker said. Basically, the girls would freeze and remain motionless for a few minutes then snap back.

As days and weeks passed, the girls healed a little bit at a time, Decker said.

Decker also facilitated phone calls with Perrywinkle and Pearson. She said during phone calls, Perrywinkle acted inappropriately with the children and Pearson did nothing to curb her behavior. Perrywinkle showed no empathy toward their children and would criticize them, Decker said.

Decker said the girls were pulled from school almost daily for parental visits and various other appointments supervised by Children and Families. Sometimes the parents didn’t even show. She said Pearson didn’t show for at least 50 percent of his visits while the girls were in the Decker’s care and Perrywinkle didn’t show for about 25 percent.

Decker took her concerns to the Children’s Home Society, a Children and Families contractor involved in the Perrywinkle/Pearson dependency case, who told her not to question the process.

“I was being told, ‘Do not question the system. We are in charge of this,’ ” she said.

Children and Families saw the inappropriate behavior, but it took Judge David Gooding’s ordering the children to have a safe, secure consistent environment before anything was done, Decker said. He made it so the parents had to confirm the visitation sometime before noon so that day the girls weren’t pulled out of school.

“The only place I felt I was heard was on the witness stand and I was talking with Judge Gooding,” Decker said.

Also, she said two families came forward who were interested in adopting the girls and applied for foster-care licenses. Both families knew there was a possibility of parent reunification but were willing to take care of the children. Children and Families didn’t contact either of them, Decker said.

Near the end of September, a Children and Families official told her the department was only pursuing a plan of parent reunification, she said. That wasn’t acceptable to the Deckers, but the they agreed to care for the children a couple of more weeks until the agency could find another family.

“We supported a concurrent plan [that included adoption],” Decker said. “We agreed to take care of these girls because DCF promised that they would look for a placement that could be more permanent for them.”

The dependency case was also transferred out of Gooding’s courtroom, and an attorney who had been representing the girls also is no longer involved, Decker said.

Still, Children and Families officials tell Decker her family will be allowed to visit the children.

One week goes by. Then another. And another. Decker’s emails are being ignored, and she isn’t being allowed to see the children. Eventually, Decker went to the school and saw the girls without permission.

Destiny asked Decker why the family didn’t want to see her anymore.

Decker couldn’t breathe. She touched Destiny’s heart and asked if she knew they loved her and her sister.

“She said, ‘Yes, I think maybe you didn’t have a choice, Miss Amy.

“And she smiled like she knows she was loved.”




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Re: CHERISH LILY PERRYWINKLE - 8 yo - Jacksonville, FL

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:42 pm


Bob.Mack@jacksonville.com
Rayne Perrywinkle, left, watches the proceedings in court earlier this month.


TIMELINE OF A TRAGEDY

A look at the events surrounding the abduction and death of Cherish Perrywinkle (Times are approximate).

Friday morning: Police make contact with Donald James Smith at the San Jose neighborhood home where he is a registered sexual offender.

7 p.m. Friday (Dollar General): Jacksonville police say Cherish Perriwinkle’s mother met Donald James Smith, 56, at Dollar General.

11 p.m. Friday (Walmart Supercenter): Cherish’s mother reports the 8-year-old girl missing to police. Authorities say the mother and Donald James Smith went to Walmart after Smith offered to buy the family some clothes.

9 a.m. Saturday (I-95/I-10): Police pull over and surround Donald James Smith’s white 1998 Dodge van on I-95 South near the I-10 split.

10 a.m. Saturday (Highlands Baptist Church): The body of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle is found near the church.

Source: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office


Prosecutors don't want jurors to know Rayne Perrywinkle said she foresaw daughter's death

Jacksonville prosecutors are asking a judge to prohibit personal information about the mother of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle from being heard by a jury, including that Rayne Perrywinkle has said she’s clairvoyant and foresaw her daughters death.

Donald James Smith, 58, is charged with the rape and murder of Cherish and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Rayne Perrywinkle is expected to be a key prosecution witness because she allowed her daughter to be around Smith when he offered to get them some McDonald’s and never saw her child again.

Defense lawyers want to introduce her history into the trial, including her time with Cherish’s father, being committed to mental institutions, legally changing her name and a sexual assault she said happened 11 years ago.

Perrywinkle, 46, lost custody of her other children soon after Cherish was killed.

At a Thursday hearing Assistant Public Defender Fred Gazaleh argued he wanted jurors to know that Perrywinkle has said she’s clairvoyant and always thought her daughter would be dead by the time she was 8. Perrywinkle volunteered that information during a deposition taken in the case.

A jury has a right to decide whether Perrywinkle may have taken steps to make that prophecy come true, Gazaleh said.

Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel said none of this is relevant to Smith’s criminal trial and shouldn’t be allowed.

“It doesn’t mitigate what this defendant did,” Caliel said.

Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper did not make any rulings Thursday and said she might have Perrywinkle called to the stand during trial without the jury present to determine what she’ll allow in and what she will exclude. Then she could testify again in front of the jury.

Perrywinkle has vowed to get her children back, but other’s have argued they should be adopted.

She had a contentious relationship with Cherish’s father, Billy Jarreau, and has acknowledged she didn’t want her daughter to spend the summer with him in California, as Cherish was scheduled to do the day after she was killed.

Perrywinkle was not in court Thursday. Lysa Telzer, a victims advocate with the Justice Coalition, said Perrywinkle would have no comment.

Defense attorneys did not object to a second motion from prosecutors prohibiting any discussion of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office internal affairs investigation that occurred after Smith was arrested.

The leader of the Sheriff’s Office homicide unit was suspended and moved out of the unit after an internal investigation found officers at the scene didn’t notify the public quickly enough that Cherish had been kidnapped.

Police at the scene originally doubted Perrywinkle’s story and questioned whether it was a genuine abduction.

Defense attorneys also are asking to be kicked off the case, arguing that they have a conflict with another unnamed client.

Cooper has refused to release them from the case, but that ruling has been sent to the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee.

If the appellate court overrules Cooper, the trial would be delayed indefinitely while new lawyers get up to speed on the case.


http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2014-12-11/story/prosecutors-dont-want-jurors-know-rayne-perrywinkle-said-she-foresaw
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