In a swift verdict delivered after a two-and-a-half day trial, a Sangamon County jury took less than an hour to find David Smith (DOB: 3/26/64) guilty of first-degree murder in the horrific killing of 80-year-old Donna Bricker. The tragic incident occurred in Bricker's home on West Elliot Street in Springfield. The jury further determined that Smith's acts were "exceptionally brutal and heinous" and "indicative of wanton cruelty," making him eligible for a potential sentence of natural life, the most severe penalty under Illinois law.
Throughout the trial, the State's Attorney's Office presented compelling evidence, demonstrating that Smith forcibly entered Bricker's residence. Once inside, he bound and gagged her using strips of material torn from a blanket on her bed. Smith proceeded to strangle her with an electrical cord, mercilessly beat her about the head, and fatally stabbed her in the chest with a pair of scissors. The prosecution team, led by Sangamon County State's Attorney Dan Wright, along with First Assistant State's Attorney Derek Dion and Assistant State's Attorney Brittney Lehr, effectively presented a strong case to the jury.
State's Attorney Dan Wright expressed gratitude to the jury for their diligent service in reaching a just verdict. He stated, "Based upon the facts of the case, the defendant's criminal history, and the jury's finding that David Smith's acts meet the statutory requirements to permit me to seek a sentence of natural life, I intend to request the maximum penalty allowed under Illinois law." The potential sentencing range for Smith is between 20 years and natural life.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 29th at 1:30 p.m. before Circuit Judge John Madonia, who presided over the trial. With the guilty verdict now in place, Assistant State's Attorney Britney Lehr successfully moved to revoke the defendant's bond. As a result, Smith has been remanded to the Sangamon County Jail, where he will be held without bond until the sentencing hearing.