On Sunday, February 1, 2004, in Sarasota, Florida, 11-year-old Carlie Brucia was on her way home from a sleepover at her friend's house. Her step-father was on his way to pick her up in route but never found her. Carlie, decided to cut through a car wash not far from her home and was approached by a man that led her away... never to be seen alive again. The surveillance camera at the car wash (shown left) pictured a man in a uniform type shirt approaching Carlie, saying something to her, and then leading her away.
After receiving tips as to the identification of the man, the Sarasota police questioned and eventually arrested Joseph P. Smith. Smith, a 39-year-old former auto mechanic and father of three daughters, was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and capital sexual battery. He has pleaded not guilty. He could be sentenced to death if he is convicted in the slaying. Smith is currently on trial for Carlie's murder. Smith has a past criminal record, including some assault and battery charges but no sex related crimes. Eventually Smith confessed to his Mom & brother and this information led to the discovery of Carlie's body.
It is sickening to me that taxpayer dollars are being spent taking this case to court. They have a video tape of Smith abducting Carlie, Smith's confession that leads them to the body & DNA evidence left on Carlie's clothing! Helllllooooo... Isn't this an open and shut case? Why the heck is this jerk pleading not guilty and wasting money, time & resources of so many people. Sometimes our judicial system is great but sometimes it stinks! I think these criminals want their 15 minutes of fame and enjoy the attention and getting out of the jail cell. Amazing!