Crime

Death row inmate Delmer Smith found guilty of 2009 murder in Sarasota County

Delmer Smith; already sentenced to death, now convicted in another murder, sexual battery

Delmer Smith, already sentenced to death for a murder he committed in Manatee County was convicted Friday of a separate murder in Sarasota County.
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Delmer Smith, already sentenced to death for a murder he committed in Manatee County was convicted Friday of a separate murder in Sarasota County.

A man already sentenced to death for a murder he committed in Manatee County was convicted Friday of a separate murder in Sarasota County.

Delmer Smith III, 47, was convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon after a jury trial that began Monday in the Sarasota County Courthouse, according to the State Attorney’s Office. He was sentenced Friday by Judge Charles Roberts to serve three concurrent life terms.

Smith who authorities say was responsible for several violent crimes in Manatee and Sarasota, killed and sexually battered 36-year-old Georgann Smith on April 5 or 6, 2009. Investigators previously said she was bludgeoned to death. Her body was found by friends when she did not show up for work.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office started their investigation into Georgann Smith’s death in 2009, but the break in the case came in 2017 when DNA analysis identified Delmer Smith as a suspect.

“Delmer Smith’s DNA was the silent witness in this case. Justice for Georgann Smith was delayed for 10 years until the science of DNA analysis became more sophisticated and more discriminating. Now, her killer has been identified and will be held accountable for her brutal and bloody death,” Assistant State Attorney Karen Fraivillig said in a released statement.

Delmer Smith was sentenced to death in 2013 for the murder of Kathleen Briles in Manatee County. Briles was killed on Aug. 3, 2009, in her Terra Ceia home.

The same jury that found him guilty of Briles’ murder in 2012 unanimously recommended the death sentence.

In 2011, Delmer Smith was sentenced to life in prison for am armed home robbery in Sarasota where Smith broke into the home, threatened to kill the elderly woman inside, and dragged her around the home demanding to know where valuables were stored, the victim testified at trial.

briles
Kathleen Briles Herald file photo

In the Manatee case, Smith petitioned the court to get a new sentencing phase to his trial, but after a two-day hearing in October 2017, Circuit Judge Diana Moreland denied his motion for post-conviction relief. He remains on death row.

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