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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The man accused of killing Cherish Perrywinkle appeared in court on Thursday.

Judge Mallory Cooper heard a motion filed by Donald Smith's defense team to keep the media from having access to discovery records before the trial begins.

Smith's attorney alleges his client cannot get a fair trial if the judge allows those records to be released.

Cooper will issue a ruling on the motion at a later date.

Smith, a convicted sex offender, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the eight-year-old.