Ohio executes man convicted of killing 6-month-old girl

Wed May 1, 2013 12:21pm EDT

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(Reuters) - The state of Ohio on Wednesday executed a man who was convicted of killing a 6-month-old girl during a drunken sexual assault in 1998.

Steven T. Smith, 46, was put to death at 10:29 a.m. ET (1439 GMT) by lethal injection at a state prison in Lucasville, Ohio, according to the state corrections department.

Smith answered "no," when asked by the prison warden if he had any final words before his death, according to JoEllen Smith, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The family of the victim witnessed the execution, Smith said.

The death row inmate spent the evening before his execution listening to a Cincinnati Reds game on the radio and requested pepperoni pizza, ham and sausage, fried fish and fries, chocolate ice cream and Mountain Dew, Smith said.

She also said Smith spent time with his 21-year-old daughter and his niece on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Smith was convicted of killing Autumn Carter, the daughter of his live-in girlfriend, Kesha Frye, in what prosecutors said was a drunken sexual assault that lasted up to 30 minutes in their home in Mansfield, Ohio.

During a recent clemency hearing, Richland County Prosecutor James Mayer called Smith the "worst of the worst" saying Smith assaulted Autumn for 30 minutes violently, banged her head with his hands and slammed her so hard into a couch that its fabric left an impression on her face.

Smith admitted killing Autumn in his clemency hearing in April but added he had no recollection of the events of that evening because he was heavily intoxicated after drinking at least 12 beers and has a history of blacking out due to alcohol.

Defense attorneys had argued that Smith's sentence should be commuted because the jury in the case was not allowed to consider a lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter and that Smith was an alcoholic with a "shattered childhood" who has accepted his guilt.

In April, the 10-member parole board voted unanimously against recommending clemency and Republican Governor John Kasich, who has granted clemency to four death row inmates, rejected Smith's bid for clemency.

Smith was the tenth person executed in the United States this year and the second in Ohio, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

(Reporting By Kim Palmer; Editing by Brendan O'Brien, Scott Malone and Andrew Hay)

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Comments (4)
stephenhurty wrote:
This disgusting man got off easy

May 01, 2013 12:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
50cal wrote:
So what is the difference between a six month old little girl and a 6 week old little girl? How about a 6 day old little girl? A 6 minute old little girl? A six second old little girl? And when exactly does the clock start ticking? Well then the jury’s duty should be clear then. Gosnell should be executed post haste-justice.

May 01, 2013 1:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
I know he will rot in hell. iam just praying his defense attorneys will also.

May 01, 2013 2:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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