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Man put to death by lethal injection for 1991 murder of woman who was abducted during robbery and killed in cemetery

Man put to death by lethal injection for 1991 murder of woman who was abducted during robbery and killed in cemetery

An Alabama man has been put to demise by deadly injection for the 1991 killing of a girl who was kidnapped throughout a theft after which shot in a cemetery. 


Willie B. Smith III, 52, acquired a deadly injection at Alabama’s Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore on Thursday evening October 21. 


He jerked twice from his gurney as officers injected him with midazolam, the Montgomery Advertiser reviews, and he was pronounced useless at 9.47pm native time.



Smith reportedly didn’t have any final phrases and refused a final meal earlier than his execution on Thursday. It was his second execution date since February 11.


On that date, Smith was already in a holding cell close to the demise chamber and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed together with his attraction that he couldn’t be put to demise with out his pastor current.


This time, the nation’s highest courtroom rejected a late request for a keep by his attorneys, who had argued that the execution needs to be blocked on grounds that Smith had an mental incapacity.


He had his religious adviser, Pastor Robert Wiley, with him at his execution Thursday evening, in response to the Montgomery Advertiser, who put a hand on Smith’s leg initially of the execution. 


Smith was convicted in 1992 of kidnapping and murdering 22-year-old Sharma Ruth Johnson in Birmingham.


Prosecutors mentioned he had a shotgun when he kidnapped Johnson in October 1991 from an ATM location within the Birmingham space. He and an confederate compelled Johnson right into a trunk, then had her recite her ATM quantity to take cash from the account.


They withdrew about $80 from her account earlier than driving her to a cemetery, the place Smith then shot Johnson – who was nonetheless within the trunk-  at the back of the pinnacle and burned the automobile in an try and take away his fingerprints.


According to courtroom paperwork, Smith was afraid she was going to name the police in regards to the theft. 


Johnson was the daughter of a Birmingham police officer. 


‘Sharma Ruth Johnson was kidnapped at gunpoint, threatened whereas within the trunk of the automotive, terrorized, assaulted, and finally, Willie B. Smith, III brutally killed her,’ Gov. Kay Ivey mentioned in a press release issued after the execution. 


‘In that last second of this younger girl´s brief life, Mr. Smith, after studying Ms. Johnson was the daughter of a legislation enforcement officer, made the selection to place a shotgun to her head, stealing this girl´s future.’


‘The proof on this case was overwhelming, and justice has been rightfully served,’ she added.


Shelley Luna, a pal of Johnson’s, described her to the Advertiser as ‘probably the most humble individual, very soft-spoken, very form.’


‘She simply form of oozed sweetness,’ Luna mentioned. ‘Anybody that crossed her path would say that … She was the simplest individual on this planet to be buddies with and speak to. It simply makes her homicide that a lot more durable – you all the time surprise why do dangerous issues occur to good folks?’


In a press release learn by Alabama division of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn earlier than the execution, Johnson’s household mentioned: ‘After ready for 30 years, justice has been served.’


Her household was current on the execution, Dunn mentioned, however wished to stay nameless. 

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