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Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemency

  1. Rob Cypher
    Condemned Ohio man who sexually assaulted baby until she died says he didn't intend to kill the 6-month-old girl - just rape her

    In a desperate bid to save his life, convicted Ohio baby killer Steven Smith has asserted that he never meant to murder his girlfriend’s six-month-old daughter – only to sexually assault her.

    The girl, Autumn Carter, of Mansfield, Ohio, died in 1998 because Smith was too drunk to realize his sexual assault was killing the child, Smith's attorneys planned to tell the Ohio Parole Board Tuesday. And Ohio law is clear, they say: a death sentence requires an intent to kill the victim.

    ‘The evidence suggests that Autumn's death was a horrible accident,’ his attorneys, Joseph Wilhelm and Tyson Fleming, said in a written argument prepared for the board. They continued: ‘Despite the shocking nature of this crime, Steve's death sentence should be commuted because genuine doubts exist whether he even committed a capital offense.’

    Smith, 46, was never charged with sexual assault, meaning the jury's only choice was to convict or acquit him of aggravated murder, his attorneys say.

    The Richland County prosecutor says Smith continues to hide behind alcohol as an excuse, and calls Smith's actions ‘the purposeful murder of a helpless baby girl.’

    Prosecutor James Mayer told the board in his own written statement that the girl's injuries are consistent with a homicide that contradicts Smith's claim he didn't intend to kill the girl.

    ‘The horrific attack upon Autumn Carter showed much more than Smith's stated purpose,’ Mayer said.

    Mayer said Monday he didn't know why Smith wasn't charged with rape, but said it wasn't part of a trial strategy.

    The attack happened early in the morning of September 29, 1998, in the Hardwood Drive apartment of the girl's mother, Kaysha Frye, a 19-year-old woman Smith, then 31 years old, had been dating about six months.

    Frye was awakened after 3am by a naked Smith, who placed Autumn beside her in bed, according to records prepared for the parole board hearing.

    Frye realized the girl wasn't breathing, told Smith he'd killed her, then ran to a neighbor's house for help.
    Smith, known to consume as many as 12 beers a day, had had several beers earlier in the evening and had a blood-alcohol content of .123 - well above the legal limit - when he was tested almost eight hours later, at 11am, records show.

    Smith had unsuccessfully tried to have sex with his girlfriend the evening before the attack, according to records.

    The prosecutor argued that Smith's assault of the girl was revenge for Smith's failure to perform with Frye.
    Smith's attorneys dispute this, saying the girlfriend was not upset with Smith.

    Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Smith's attack lasted as long as 30 minutes, during which time Smith beat the girl to death.

    Expert witnesses for Smith conclude he may have accidentally suffocated the girl within three to five minutes while he lay on top of her, according to Smith's clemency petition.

    Autopsy showed that little Autumn died of trauma and compression asphyxia. The child also suffered optical nerve damage consistent with being violently shaken.

    Smith's attorneys have an uphill battle in their argument because of the ‘moral repugnancy’ surrounding the claim of partial innocence, said Doug Berman, an Ohio State University law professor and death penalty expert. ‘But if the lawyers for this defendant can legitimately assert that the evidence doesn't show or support that this was an intentional killing, not only is it appropriate to bring this up at clemency, I think they're obliged, representing their client appropriately, to stress this point,’ Berman said.

    Frye, now 35, told the Mansfield News Journal that she wants Smith to die for the killing of her daughter, who would have been 15 today. The mother recalled how on the night of her daughter's murder, her then-boyfriend walked into her bedroom in the middle of the night and place the child's limp body in her arms. 'Her head just went over my arm,' Frye said. 'I said, "You killed my baby! You killed my baby!”'

    Police officers who responded to Frye's apartment found a pair of men's pants under Autumn's indoor swing, the girl's pink sleeper under a coffee table and a shredded diaper on the floor. Smith was discovered a short time later drunk and disorderly outside the home. He was convicted of the baby’s murder in 1999 and sentenced to death.

    Eleven people will speak to the Parole Board Tuesday, among them Autumn's aunt, Kaylee Bashline. She was six years old when her niece was killed. 'I can remember the police officer showing up at our house. I remember my mom dropping to the ground, crying,' Bashline said. 'It still affects our family to this day.'

    The panel is expected to make its recommendation as to Smith's plea for clemency to Gov John Kasich in about a week. Smith is scheduled to die May 1. If executed, he would become the 51st inmate put to death in Ohio since the state resumed executions in 1999.

    The state has enough of its lethal injection drug, pentobarbital, to execute Smith and two other inmates before the supply expires. Eight more inmates are scheduled to die from November through mid-2015.

    Daily Mail staff
    08:22 EST, 2 April 2013

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...th-old-girl--just-rape-her.html#ixzz2PKpOBRyP

Comments

  1. LucyGoosie
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    Before this i didn't really think the death penalty was right, but this guy deserves it. Makes me sick to think about it.
  2. DOG-CHOPPER
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    The death penalty is too lenient for this scumbag.

    A couple of weeks of agonizing torture and humiliation and the death penalty would still be too lenient.
  3. tyweezy1
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    Go ahead and commute his death sentence and put him on the 4 yard main line then pass out fliers of this article including the picture. The scumbag will get what he deserves in about five minutes. The lawyers who are defending this guy should join him, this is wrong in so many ways it made me throw up in my mouth a little. You know your a scumbag when you do something this atrocious and then ask for leniency in your just sentence, complete socio/psychopath. Better yet, let him go free and drop him off at my house, I'll take it from there.
  4. MikePatton
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    I always felt like the death sentence is the "easy way out". No doubt he deserves it but if it were me I'd rather get the death sentence than life in prison, sounds a hell of a lot less painful.
  5. LucyGoosie
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    I feel that the death penalty isn't a punishment for them, more of a relief for us to be rid of people with garbage personalities. I mean not to contradict your statement, I'd much rather be dead than live in a prison cell for the rest of my life, but who wants to waste tax dollars on this dick?
  6. KitKat84
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    It was his choice to drink in the first place. I hate when people blame illness or drugs. Man up and take responsibility for your actions
  7. Hippiedave82
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    I would gladly pay tax dollars to keep this sick fuck in prison where he can be raped and assaulted for the rest of his life. Death is a reward in my eyes, its lifes greatest adventure and he will get there eventually. If this guy wants to suffer then let him, there are worse things than death.
  8. SB1981
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    He is so full of shit I cannot believe he claimed he didn't know what he was doing, what a pethetic excuse that was. That asshole needs to get the chair. Let him rot for doing something so disgusting. Better yet, feed him to the inmates and let them do as they please to this POS. This is one sick fuck that needs to be ended.
  9. Willyzh
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    Yeah, life in prison will be hell for this piece of shit. Inmates detest pedophiles and baby killers. I'm sure he is getting what is coming to him one way or another.

    It sounds like they really botched the prosecution to not charge him with sexual assault and murder.
  10. Rob Cypher
    Ohio executes man who killed, raped 6-month-old

    A man convicted of killing a 6-month-old as he raped her was executed Wednesday despite his arguments that he never meant to hurt her.

    Steve Smith, 46, was executed by lethal injection for the September 1998 killing of his live-in girlfriend's daughter, Autumn Carter, in Mansfield in northern Ohio. He was pronounced dead at 10:29 a.m.

    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 didn't mean to hurt the baby.

    The Ohio Parole Board and Gov. John Kasich unanimously turned him down, with the board calling him "the worst of the worst."

    "Smith took the life of an innocent 6-month-old infant while using the baby to sexually gratify himself," the board said in its decision. "It is hard to fathom a crime more repulsive or reprehensible in character."

    Among the witnesses to the execution was Smith's 21-year-old daughter, Brittney, who said she has never believed he committed the crime.

    "I know my dad's innocent," she said. "I do not believe he did this, and you know, he raised all my cousins, my sister before I was even born, and he never did anything (sexually)."

    Brittney Smith, who was 7 when her father was arrested for Autumn's killing, said she can't reconcile the crime with the dad she knew, the man who taught her and her sister to fish and play card games and who would watch Disney's The Lion King over and over with them.

    She called him "a wonderful dad" and said she recently introduced him to his only grandchild, a 16-month-old girl named Alannah, whom he was allowed to hold and pose for photos with at a state prison.

    Autumn's mother and other family also had planned to witness the execution and considered it justice.

    Autumn's aunt, Kaylee Bashline, said that her family has no reason to doubt that Smith is guilty, especially with his recent admission, and that it's not fair that he had 15 years since the crime to live, visit family and say his goodbyes.

    "He got all that, and what did she get?" Bashline said. "She got to be killed and put in the ground where none of us gets to see her anymore. I don't find it right."

    Back on the night of September 29, 1998, Autumn's mother, Kesha Frye, was awoken by Smith, her live-in boyfriend of four months.

    Smith, who was extremely drunk and naked, laid a naked and lifeless Autumn on Frye's bed, according to court records.

    Frye rushed the baby and her other 2-year-old daughter to a neighbor's house and called 911. Autumn was pronounced dead after doctors tried to revive her for more than an hour, and Smith was arrested.

    The baby was covered in bruises and welts, had cuts on her forehead and had severe injuries showing she had been brutally raped, though no semen was present.

    At the home, there was no sign of forced entry, and police found a large amount of white cloth that came from Autumn's diaper strewn about; police found the rest of the diaper in a garbage bin outside, along with 10 empty cans of beer and a T-shirt.

    At the time, Smith told police that he "didn't do anything."

    "I'm not sick like that," he said.

    At trial, Smith didn't testify in his own defense on the advice of his attorneys, even as prosecutors repeatedly referred to him as a "baby raper," showed pictures of Autumn's battered body and told jurors that her assault lasted up to a half-hour.

    Expert witnesses for Smith testified that he might have accidentally suffocated the girl within three to five minutes of the assault.

    The jury found Smith guilty of aggravated murder and sentenced him to die.

    At an April 2 hearing in which Smith sought to have his death sentence reduced to life in prison, he admitted to the crime and said he didn't mean to kill Autumn.

    He also told the Ohio Parole Board that he was not in his right mind the night of the crime and has to live every day with what he did. He said he was sorry and wished he could ask Autumn for forgiveness.

    Smith became the 51st inmate put to death in Ohio since it resumed executions in 1999. The state has enough of its lethal injection drug, the powerful sedative pentobarbital, to execute two other inmates before the supply expires. Eight more inmates are scheduled to die from November through mid-2015.

    Associated Press
    May 1, 2013

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/01/ohio-rape-baby/2126323/
  11. Boltzmann
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    Question: While I would have committed suicide long ago if I were this man - was the infant his daughter or just the girlfriend's and someone else's? I almost don't quite believe it, really... Rape/Murder. Of his own daughter. As a baby. While Mom is sleeping at home. Doesn't sound conceivable.
  12. reef88
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    Even though I absolutely agree that what he did is unforgivable and terrible, to say the least, I don't think any of us human beings have a right to execute/kill another human being. Don't get me wrong, I think he deserves to die, but I don't think anybody has the right to kill him.

    I think dying is an easy way out of life in prison. Life in prison is usually tougher on people, they can get raped, stabbed, killed, among other terrible things... Which also isn't right, but at least it's not being done by other "law abiding citizens" who are supposed to be the good guys. The second he was executed, the justice system lowered to the level of a murderer, a vigilante. What does a vigilante do? They kill or "arrest" people who have committed murder, rape and other terrible crimes, and what did we do? We killed him. Both end up in the same result.

    That's just my opinion.
  13. Kilomech
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    I've never agreed with the death penalty, personally. I still don't and probably will continue to disagree with it as long as innocent men and women are put to death with the help of tax payer money. This guy, though? I would have bought front row tickets to witness the execution firsthand, were I able.
  14. longbeachone
    Re: Ohio man on death row blames alcohol for rape/murder of 6-month old; seeks clemen

    I agree with the poster who said that we should not execute humans. It makes barbarians and murderers of us all. However I think that I could have killed this monster myself. To think of the pain and fear he inflicted on a tiny child. Lethal injection was way too good for this guy. I don't know if life in prison as a child molester wouldn't have been a better choice. I have heard that other prisoners hold great anger towards molesters, because they can't keep their own children safe from inside a prison cell. They take out this anger and hatred on the molesters in prison in some pretty awful ways. I'm glad he is dead though...what a horror show.
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