Sarasota, Fla. A weeping Joseph Smith apologized Tuesday for the abduction, rape and murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia two years ago, telling a judge he had taken large amounts of cocaine and heroin that day in hopes of killing himself.
Smith told Circuit Judge Andrew Owens, who will sentence him to death or life in prison, "I do not ask for mercy for myself. The only thing I can see to give me a life sentence is for my family. I do not want to see them hurt any further."
Carlie was abducted while walking home from a friend's house in February 2004, an attack that was caught on a car wash surveillance tape.
A jury found the 39-year-old guilty last November and recommended by a 10-2 vote that he be executed.
Owens will ultimately sentence Smith on March 15. Under Florida law, he must give the jury's death sentence recommendation "great weight."