Joseph Smith's attorneys are trying to persuade jurors to recommend a life sentence instead of the death penalty for killing eleven-year-old Carlie Brucia. A judge will make the final decision.
As testimony for the day began wrapping up this afternoon, 13 witnesses had taken the stand to testify to Smith's character.
The same jury convicted Smith two weeks ago of convicting, raping and murdering Brucia. So far, the defense has presented a group of 13 witnesses to testify on Smith's behalf — they say that he is a decent person who had physical and emotional problems, and therefore doesn't deserve to be executed, CBS News affiliate WTSP in Tampa, Fl., reports.
Smith's "spiritual advisor" was among those speaking on his behalf.
A former baby sitter for the children of Joseph Smith described him "as a good father" who loved his children and took care of them very well.
"He would always thank me for baby sitting them," said the girl, identified only by her initials.
Carlie's case drew national attention last year after a car wash surveillance camera caught her abduction on tape.
It was unclear whether a second juvenile, described earlier in the day by Circuit Judge Andrew D. Owens as a niece of Smith, would testify.
The defense witnesses include the mother of a woman Smith dated. She says Smith treated her grandchildren as if they were his own.
A former probation officer says Smith had expressed a desire to kick his drug habit, though he never enrolled in a drug treatment program.
Assistant Public Defender Assistant Adam Tebrugge said he understood a ruling by Owens to identify the juveniles by initial only and not allow photographs of their faces, but would have preferred that they girls not be identified at all.
He said he was undecided on whether to allow both of the juveniles to testify to Smith's character.
Earlier, Carlie was described as a thoughtful, bubbly girl, an A-student who liked to sing off-key to make her mother laugh and had a fondness for shoes.