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Justice for Cherish: Donald Smith's past

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Updated: 7/01/2013 11:52 pm
BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. -- It may be across the state, but neighbors in Blountstown, Florida know the name Donald Smith.

Smith is accused of kidnapping 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle from a Jacksonville Walmart on June 21. Her body was found behind a northside church the next day.

Chris Hasty felt frustrated, upset and disgusted when he heard the news.

"It's despicable and a shame that a child has to go through that," said Hasty.

Hasty lives in Blountstown, but came face to face with Donald Smith, a few years ago. It was a run-in, he says, that he'll never forget.

Hasty and Smith both have children with the same woman. Hasty took his daughter to Smith's mother's home in Jacksonville, to let her visit with Smith's son, which is the girl's half-brother.

Smith was gone during Hasty's first two visits, but on the third, the two men met for the first time.

Their encounter lasted only a few hours, Hasty says he was immediately uncomfortable with the idea of leaving his daughter alone with Smith.

"Every time I caught him in some vicinity of my daughter he was looking at her, and she was only 2 and a half or 3 years old at the time. It bothered me. When you look at somebody you would normally act like 'hey, how's it going,' but when you're constantly staring at something when someone's trying to talk to you, you can see their mind is set on something," Hasty said.

Hasty, never took his daughter back for another visit. It wasn't until months later that he learned Smith was convicted sexual offender.

"I wish I'd known because we would have left. We would have left. There's no sense. If I had to go to the bathroom thats the few seconds that he would have had a chance to do something," said Hasty.

Hasty’s daughter is now 8 years old, just like little Cherish was. His heart is broken for her family and he's hoping Smith, will never be out of jail again.

"He needs to be gone. He doesn't deserve to be here."

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