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Mechanic Charged In Carlie's Death

Prior to the crime of murdering Carlie Brucia this man DID NOT have a history of any sex offense! And was on probation for other offenses.
2-6-2004 Florida:

11-Year-Old Carlie Brucia's Body Found On Church Grounds Overnight

(CBS/AP) The body of an 11-year-old girl whose abduction was captured by a surveillance camera has been found in a church parking lot and a mechanic has been charged with her murder, officials said Friday.

"The body of a beautiful girl, Carlie Brucia, has been found," said an emotional Sarasota County Sheriff Bill Balkwill Friday morning. "Joseph Smith is under arrest for the abduction and murder of Carlie."

Her body was found on the grounds of the Central Church of Christ. A section of its grounds was ringed with yellow police tape Friday.

"Our prayers on behalf of everybody here in Sarasota County go out to the family," Balkwill said.

Smith, 37, is believed to be the tattooed man in a mechanic's shirt who was seen in the car wash's surveillance video leading Carlie away by the arm Sunday evening.

No cause of death of was given.

"We now stand ready to complete our obligation, and assure you that he will pay the ultimate price for what he did to her," Capt. Jeff Bell said.

Investigators found the body after negotiations with Smith, said a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Earlier, authorities had said he was not cooperating.

Outside Carlie's school, McIntosh Middle School principal Robert Hagemann announced there were about 30 counselors available for the students.

"They're here in force today. They have saturated the school with personnel and resources," he told reporters. They will be back on Monday, he added, and the school will be open Saturday midday and Monday evening for additional counseling.

"We are going to do whatever is necessary for the children and for the community," he said.

Carlie's friend Natalie Thomas cried after hearing that her classmate's body was found. She remembered Carlie's smile and that she liked to go on walks.

Carlie was described by friends as a beautiful girl who loved actress Jennifer Lopez, going to the mall and hanging out. The youngster was known for greeting friends with warm hugs.

"I just want to thank everybody for all they've done," said her father, Joseph Brucia, who is separated from her mother, at a press conference in Sarasota Friday.

"There's nothing you can do to make anybody feel better and it's going to hurt for a long, long time," said Chuck Chambers, a private investigator who was working with the family.

Smith had been held without bail since Tuesday on an alleged probation violation stemming from a cocaine possession conviction.

Smith has been arrested at least 13 times in Florida since 1993, according to state records. He was arrested in 1997 in Manatee County on kidnapping and false imprisonment charges, but was acquitted a year later.

He served 17 months in state prison for heroin possession and prescription drug fraud and was released on New Year's Day 2003. He was arrested eight days later on a cocaine possession charge and was placed on probation for three years. He also was placed on probation for aggravated battery in 1993 and heroin charges in 1999.

A state Department of Corrections official said Thursday that a probation officer had asked a judge on Dec. 30 to declare Smith in violation of his probation because he had not paid all his fines and court costs.

Probation official Joe Papy said Circuit Judge Harry Rapkin declined to find Smith in violation, which could have returned him to jail.

An aide to Smith's public defender, Adam Tebrugge, declined comment Thursday. ..Source.. by Tatiana Morales

The problem with probation

6-13-2004 Florida:

Hundreds of violent offenders in Florida are still on probation even after repeatedly breaking the rules. The solution? Officials don't really have one.

For the remainder of this article: by CURTIS KRUEGER, RICHARD RAEKE and DONG-PHUONG NGUYEN

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