Richmond County trial in killing of Patricia Burley focuses on woman who survived similar attack

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The third day of Corey Smith’s murder trial in Richmond County Superior Court focused on the woman investigators say survived an attack by him four months earlier.

Smith, 30, is charged with murder in the death of Patricia Burley, a 54-year-old woman with Down syndrome who disappeared from her home on Wrightsboro Road in August 2010.

Testimony this week has indicated Smith was the last person seen with Burley and that her DNA was found on his shorts.

Smith is also indicted in the rape and assault of another woman with diminished mental capacity four months before Burley’s death in south Augusta.

Prosecutors are using that attack to show Smith has a history of similar assaults.

Jurors heard evidence from crime scene investigators Wednesday morning, then from the victim, who testified that she was hit with a brick and cut with a razor. The Augusta Chronicle is withholding the woman’s name because she is the victim of a sexual assault.

Evidence showed several shared characteristics between the incidents. Both assaults involved bondage, rape and items forced down victims’ throats.

The trial was recessed early Wednesday because one of the prosecution’s witnesses was unavailable until Thursday morning.

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