Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ohio Executes Man Who Killed Infant During Rape

Steven Smith. Police photo.

The state of Ohio bid good riddance yesterday to Steven Smith, who was executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Lucasville.

Smith was convicted of killing his live-in girlfriend’s daughter, 6-month-old Autumn Carter, while he was raping her. In an effort to have his sentence commuted to life in prison, Smith’s attorneys argued last month that while Smith intended to rape the infant, he was too drunk to realize he was killing her. Under Ohio law, the death penalty requires a proven intent to kill. Because Smith was never charged with sexual assault, the jury convicted him of murder.

The victim’s mother, Kaysha Frye was present at the execution along with her sister, who made a cheerful gesture when Smith died. Also present was Smith’s only child, 21-year-old Brittney Smith, who cried as her father succumbed to the lethal cocktail. Smith, who declined to say any final words, was pronounced dead at 10 a.m.

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