A man has been given a life sentence for the brutal murder of a woman in Springfield. David Smith was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder.
In 2019, Smith entered the home of 80-year-old Donna Bricker. There, he proceeded to strangle her using an electrical cord, stabbed her with scissors, and used a blunt object to inflict further harm.
This isn't Smith's first run-in with the law. In 1994, he was convicted of aggravated burglary and robbery after breaking into the home of a 76-year-old woman and stealing from her. The judge took this into account when deciding on the life sentence. Judge John Madonia, addressing Smith, said, "You did all of this after spending decades of your life in prison for an eerily similar offense. The court does not believe that you have rehabilitative potential that merits release from prison. The court needs to impose a sentence that protects the public from you forever."
Bricker's family members – her brother, daughter, and granddaughters – shared how her murder had affected them. Her daughter even read a poem that Bricker had written before her death. Bella Allen, Donna Bricker's granddaughter, expressed her feelings in the courtroom, saying, "You stole the person who my whole life taught me the importance of believing that people can be good."
"We are very pleased with the sentence that the court imposed today," Sangamon County State's Attorney Dan Wright said. "Simply put, the defendant is a monster beyond any rehabilitative potential, and he received the only just sentence permitted by Illinois law."
Smith spoke in the courtroom, filled with Bricker's family and friends. He offered condolences to the family but maintained his innocence in the murder. The judge dismissed the request for a new trial.