An Ohio man convicted of killing a 6-month-old girl while raping her has been executed despite his arguments that he never meant to hurt her.
The state executed Steve Smith at 10:29 this morning by lethal injection at the state prison in Lucasville after his pleas for mercy were denied. The 46-year-old was convicted of aggravated murder in the September 1998 killing of his live-in girlfriend's daughter, Autumn Carter, in Mansfield. Smith had tried to get his sentence reduced to life in prison, arguing that he was too drunk to realize his assault was killing Autumn and that he didn't mean to hurt her. The Ohio Parole Board and Gov. John Kasich rejected his pleas. Smith became the 51st inmate put to death in Ohio since the state resumed executions in 1999.