SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (TCD) — A judge sentenced a 58-year-old man to life in prison after he was convicted of strangling and stabbing his former neighbor to death.
The Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office confirmed David Smith was sentenced in connection with the “brutal murder” of 80-year-old Donna Bricker.
According to WAND-TV, a jury found Smith guilty in June after deliberating for under an hour. Smith reportedly used an electrical cord to strangle Bricker by wrapping it around her neck multiple times, then stabbed her in the chest with scissors. Smith also tied Bricker’s hands behind her back. Her cause of death was ligature strangulation with stabbing as a factor.
Bricker was found dead in her home on the 700 block of West Elliott Street Jan. 6, 2019, after relatives became worried because she did not show up to church, the Springfield State-Journal Register reports.Springfield Police arrested Smith on March 14, 2019.
Smith reportedly previously lived near Bricker.
WAND reports Smith was previously convicted of crimes against the elderly. In 1994, he was found guilty of aggravated burglary and robbery because he broke into a 76-year-old woman’s house.
At the sentencing, Sangamon County Judge John Madonia told Smith, “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.”
State Attorney Dan Wright said something similar, adding, “We are very pleased with the sentence that the court imposed today. Simply put, the defendant is a monster beyond any rehabilitative potential, and he received the only just sentence permitted by Illinois law.”