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CARLEY BRUCIA CASE: Man convicted of killing Sarasota girl will not get new sentencing hearing

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Posted at 3:54 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 01:05:04-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — A death penalty sentence will stand for the man convicted of killing and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old Sarasota girl in 2004.

On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Joseph Smith will not get a new sentence hearing in the murder of Carley Brucia.

Following Tuesday's order, Smith will go back to the Department of Justice as they expect Governor Ron DeSantis to sign a death warrant.

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The case captured national attention when surveillance video showed Smith grabbing Brucia by the arm at a Sarasota Car Wash. The video of Smith leading Brucia the way was the last time the 11-year-old girl was seen alive.

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Brucia's body was found days later in a wooded area behind a church. She had been suffocated and sexually assaulted, according to authorities.

Smith was then sentenced to death in 2006.

But in 2017, a Supreme Court ruling overturned the decision after a case saying that death sentences must have a unanimous vote.

Then in January 2020, the Florida Supreme Court reversed a death penalty case and ultimately reinstated a death sentence. On Tuesday, the judge released an order saying the state will not have to go through a new penalty phase for Smith.

Following Tuesday's order, Smith will go back to the Department of Justice as they expect Governor Ron DeSantis to sign a death warrant.