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Smith charged with home invasion in Bradenton

BRADENTON — Bradenton police detectives have charged murder suspect Delmer Smith III with a home invasion attack last year, bringing the number of similar cases in which he has been charged to six.

Smith, 38, today was served with a warrant charging him with home invasion robbery. The case stems from an attack on the Bradenton couple in their home on April 21, according to a police report.

Police say Smith attacked a 61-year-old woman and her 62-year-old husband in their home on 32nd Avenue Northwest, bound and gagged them, before severely beating them.

The wife told police she had been gardening and as she walked into her house, a man in a ski mask with a gun grabbed her from behind and pushed inside her home, the report states.

Once inside, the man demanded her purse and wedding ring, and said he had been watching her for a year. During the encounter, the woman’s husband came home and the man attacked him as well. He tied up the couple using electrical cord and beat them, breaking the woman’s nose and knocking out the man’s teeth by banging his head on the floor.

Police say their investigation has given detectives probable cause to charge Smith. Smith is also accused of murder in the beating death of Kathleen Briles in her Terra Ceia home. Well-known Palmetto Dr. James Briles came home on Aug. 3 to find his wife bound and beaten to death on their living room floor.

Smith also faces rape, home invasion robbery and false imprisonment charges in four similar attacks in Sarasota, in which four women were beaten in their homes, and two raped.

Detectives in Sarasota and Manatee suspect Smith committed as many as 11 violent home invasions attacks on women in both counties.