Man Convicted Of Murdering 6-Month-Old Pleads For Mercy By Saying He Didn’t Mean To Kill Her — Just Rape Her

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shutterstock_128247038Forty-six-year-old Steven Smith of Columbus, Ohio was charged with the murder of his girlfriend’s 6-month-old daughter, Autumn Carter. He has since been given the death penalty and is awaiting a May 1st execution. But in a plea for clemency, Smith’s lawyers maintain that even though he intended to sexually assault the baby, he did not intend to kill her. And it just gets more troubling and legally messier from there. reports that Smith’s defense claims he was “too drunk to realize his sexual assault was killing the child.” This is relevant given that Ohio law reportedly states that intent to kill must be proved to warrant a death sentence.

According to the Associated Press, Smith was “known to consume as many as 12 beers a day” and had a blood-alcohol content of .123 when tested the morning after the Sept. 29th attack in 1998. But there is still some discrepancy in what exactly happened to this poor little baby:

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.

Factor in also that Smith was not convicted — nor even charged with — raping this infant and the mess quadruples in the ethics of said lawyers “representing their client appropriately,” according to Doug Berman, an Ohio State University law professor and death penalty expert.

Better you all than me.

(photo: Africa Studio / Shutterstock)