Alabama halts execution of man who killed preacher’s wife for bizarre reason

Alabama’s execution of a person convicted in a 1998 murder-for-hire killing of a preacher’s spouse was once known as off earlier than the middle of the night time limit on Thursday as a result of state officers could not discover a appropriate vein for deadly injection. 

Alabama Division of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm mentioned team of workers on the jail attempted for an hour to get the 2 required intravenous strains hooked up to Kenneth Eugene Smith. 

One line was once established, however makes an attempt with a 2nd line had been unsuccessful after attempting a number of places at the 57-year-old’s frame. Officers then attempted a central line, which comes to a catheter positioned into a big vein.


“We weren’t in a position to have time to finish that, so we known as off the execution,” Hamm mentioned.

For the reason that demise warrant expired at nighttime, the state will have to return to courtroom to hunt a brand new execution date. 

This undated picture supplied by means of Alabama Division of Corrections presentations inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was once convicted in a 1988 murder-for-hire slaying of a preacher’s spouse.
((Alabama Division of Corrections by means of AP))

It’s the second one execution since September that the state has canceled because of difficulties with setting up an IV line forward of a time limit.

The Excellent Courtroom had cleared the way in which from Smith’s execution, lifting a keep issued by means of the eleventh U.S Circuit Courtroom of Appeals previous within the night. 

The postponement got here after Smith’s ultimate appeals enthusiastic about issues of intravenous strains at Alabama’s final two scheduled deadly injections

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey blamed Smith’s last-minute appeals for the execution now not going ahead as scheduled.

“Kenneth Eugene Smith selected $1,000 over the lifetime of Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett, and he was once accountable, no query about it. Some 3 a long time in the past, a promise was once made to Elizabeth’s circle of relatives that justice can be served thru a lawfully imposed demise sentence,” Ivey mentioned. “Even supposing that justice may now not be performed this night as a result of final minute prison makes an attempt to extend or cancel the execution, making an attempt it was once the precise factor to do.”

The Excellent Courtroom denied Smith’s request to study the constitutionality of his demise sentence after Alabama-based nonprofit the Equivalent Justice Initiative mentioned he stands to turn out to be the primary state prisoner sentenced by means of judicial override to be completed for the reason that follow was once abolished in 2017.

The Supreme Court of the United States

The Excellent Courtroom of america
(AP Photograph/J. Scott Applewhite, FileY)


Within the hours earlier than the execution was once scheduled to be performed, the jail machine mentioned Smith visited along with his legal professional and members of the family, ate cheese curls and drank water. 

Prosecutors mentioned the demise row inmate was once considered one of two males who had been every paid $1,000 to kill Elizabeth Sennett on behalf of her husband, Charles Sennet Sr., who sought after to assemble on insurance coverage. Sennett was once discovered useless in her Colbert County house on March 18, 1988, and the coroner testified that the 45-year-old have been stabbed 8 occasions within the chest and as soon as on every aspect of the neck. 

Her husband killed himself when the homicide investigation enthusiastic about him as a suspect.

John Forrest Parker, the opposite guy convicted within the slaying, was once completed in 2010. 

FILE: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey speaks at the opening of a Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle Battery Factory, in Woodstock, Alabama, U.S., March 15, 2022. 

FILE: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey speaks on the opening of a Mercedes-Benz electrical automobile Battery Manufacturing unit, in Woodstock, Alabama, U.S., March 15, 2022. 
(REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage)

In keeping with appellate courtroom paperwork, Smith advised police that it was once “agreed for John and I to do the homicide” and that he took pieces from the home to make it appear to be a housebreaking. 

Paperwork confirmed Smith’s protection at trial mentioned he participated within the assault, however that he didn’t intend to kill Sennett.


The Related Press contributed to this document.

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