Alabama man set to be executed for fatally beating, stabbing wife of debt-ridden preacher
11/17/2022 11:30 am PST
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (TCD) -- A 57-year-old man is scheduled to be executed via lethal injection this week for fatally stabbing and beating a preacher’s wife in 1988.
According to court documents, Charles Sennett, a minister with the Church of Christ, hired Billy Williams to kill his wife, Elizabeth Sennett. Williams reportedly recruited Kenneth Eugene Smith and John Parker to carry out the murder, and Charles agreed to pay Williams, Smith, and Parker $1,000 each.
Prosecutors argued that Charles wanted his wife dead so he could collect insurance payments to settle his debts, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
On March 18, 1988, Smith, Williams, and Parker killed Elizabeth, according to court documents. While at the victim’s home, Smith reportedly took a video cassette recorder and kept the VCR in his home.
The Colbert County Sheriff’s Department along with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department obtained a search warrant, and investigators found the VCR in Smith’s home.
The preacher, Charles Sennett, reportedly committed suicide a week after his wife’s death.
In 1996, court documents said Smith was convicted of capital murder. The jury recommended that he receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole, but the trial judge overrode the jury’s verdict and sentenced Smith to death.
On Aug. 18, Smith reportedly sued the state of Alabama because the Alabama Department of Corrections "has no protocol for [executing Smith] without subjecting [Smith] to an intolerable risk of torture, cruelty, or substantial pain."
Smith also alleged that the state violated his rights because they did not provide him with the necessary information to choose nitrogen hypoxia over lethal injection. On Oct. 16, the Montgomery Advertiser reports that U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. dismissed Smith’s case.
Smith is set to be executed on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.
Parker, the other man accused of killing Elizabeth Sennett, has already been executed, and Williams was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
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