Ohio executes man who killed, raped 6-month-old

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 2, 2013 at 1:34 am •  Published: May 2, 2013
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Back on the night of Sept. 29, 1998, Frye was awoken by Smith, her live-in boyfriend of four months.

Smith, who was 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 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.

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, Smith told the Ohio Parole Board that he was sorry and wished he could ask Autumn for forgiveness.

Smith spent his last night eating pizza, fried fish, chocolate ice cream and soda, listening to the Cincinnati Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals, mailing letters and visiting with his daughter and niece, prison officials said.

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.

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Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP