MANATEE – Dr. James Briles called the man authorities say bludgeoned his wife to death with a sewing machine during a home invasion burglary a “coward,” during a press conference announcing the arrest of Delmer Smith on a murder charge .
Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube told a room full of media of Smith’s arrest, before Briles spoke on behalf of two of their three children who attended the press conference. One of the Briles sons is in the U.S. Army serving in Iraq.
“Let me say a little bit about Delmer Smith,” Briles said. “He is a coward, a sociopath and a punk. His sole purpose is to inflict suffering.”
Briles went on to say Smith deserves “no quarter,” and that he is not only in jail to protect the public from him, but to “protect him from us.” He spoke of his anger, and the horrifying discovery of his wife, beaten to death and gagged on the living room floor of their Terra Ceia home.
“Am I angry? Oh yeah,” he said. “You’d understand that if you saw what I saw when I came home.”
When a television reporter asked family members if Smith’s arrest had brought any closure, Briles’ daughter emphatically said no.
“I am sad for my mother, I am sad for my family, and I am sorry we live in a society with people this bad,” said Kristin Venema.