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
- Hearing to determine fate of sergeant accused of killing 2 deaf Iraqi youths
- Precautions lack year since fatal blast at plant
- Mo. mayor steps down over anti-Semitic comments
- Justices uphold Michigan ban on affirmative action, giving states room to maneuver
- Little toxicity data exists for tainted W.Va. water
- Gun background checks miss fugitives
- Justices critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies
- Details about USS Cole suspect’s stint in CIA custody must be turned over
- Images best of readied D-Day ships
- IRS awards millions in bonuses to its people who don’t pay taxes
- Foundation gives $13M to promote Obamacare