Execution of child's rapist, killer draws jeers, cheers in Ohio prison
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:21 p.m.
LUCASVILLE, Ohio — One family wept loudly and another family cheered on Wednesday as a man was executed for killing a 6-month-old as he raped her.
Steve Smith, 46, was executed by lethal injection in the state prison in Lucasville in southern Ohio for the 1998 killing of his live-in girlfriend's daughter, Autumn Carter, in Mansfield.
Smith had recently tried to get his sentence reduced to life in prison, arguing that he was too drunk to realize that his assault was killing Autumn and that he didn't mean to hurt her. The Ohio Parole Board and Gov. John Kasich turned him down unanimously.
In the 25 minutes between when Smith walked into the death chamber flanked by prison guards and when the lethal injection killed him, his only child, 21-year-old Brittney, and his niece sobbed and shook with grief.
Smith declined to say any last words, then looked at Brittney sitting behind a pane of glass.
“I love you,” Brittney said as she wept.
Smith turned his head away and appeared to be struggling not to cry, his chin shaking.
Less than 3 feet from Brittney and separated by a wall, Autumn's mother, Kesha Frye, watched Smith quietly. After he was dead, Frye's sister pumped her fists in the air.
“I'm glad he's dead, and I hope he burns in hell,” Frye said surrounded by her family after the execution.
Frye's father and Autumn's grandfather, Patrick Hicks, said Smith's execution was too good for him.
“Because of him, Autumn never had a chance to take her first step, she never had her first birthday or a first day of school,” he said. “It's just unfortunate that this man gets to die a peaceful death after the torture he put Autumn through.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Shale oil, gas drilling boom wins favor with labor unions, thwarting environmentalists
- Teen OK after riding in wheel well of Hawaii jet
- Subsitute for Pap smear scorned; overtreatment cited
- After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security
- Mauling puts bears back on firing line in Central Florida
- Study of corn waste as fuel source finds gasoline less damaging to atmosphere
- Ruling on Cleveland police chase questioned
- Navy endorses 24-hour sleep cycle for sailors
- Postal Service overhaul expected to appeal to Dems
- US Airways’ pornographic tweet won’t cost anyone a job
- Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead, audit finds