Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was found guilty of the murder of Elizabeth Sennett has been executed. His execution happened on Thursday, January 25, 2024.
Where was Kenneth Eugene Smith Executed?
Kenneth Eugene Smith was executed in the state of Alabama using nitrogen hypoxia. This marked the inaugural implementation of this particular method for an execution on a global scale. Smith had spent more than three decades on death row due to his involvement in the murder-for-hire plot aimed at Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett in her Colbert County residence in 1988.
Elizabeth Sennett, the wife of a clergyman, Pastor Charles Sennett, endured a brutal assault and stabbing. Subsequent to the incident, Smith confessed to his role in the crime, and court records indicate that he received an approximate sum of $1,000 as compensation for carrying out the murder of his wife.
What happened to Elizabeth Sennett
Pastor Charles Sennett Sr. got the help of his tenant, Billy Gray Williams, to carry out a heinous act – the murder of his wife, Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett, who was 45 years old at the time. In order to execute this sinister plan, Williams sought the assistance of Kenneth Smith and John Forrest Parker.
Each of these individuals was promised a sum of $1,000 by Sennett for their involvement in the crime. Tragically, on March 18, 1988, Elizabeth Sennett was discovered in her Colbert County, Alabama home with severe injuries that proved to be fatal. Sheriff Ronnie May was among the first responders at the scene, and upon his arrival, he was unable to detect a pulse in Elizabeth.
However, when emergency medical technicians arrived, they were able to find a pulse. Sheriff May recounted that Sennett was visibly shaken upon learning that his wife still had a pulse. May accompanied Elizabeth in the ambulance, but sadly, she was pronounced dead by doctors at the hospital.
Conviction of Kenneth Eugene Smith
Smith was convicted of the murder-for-hire of Elizabeth Sennett in Colbert County, Alabama on March 18, 1988. Elizabeth’s spouse, Charles Sennett Sr., enlisted Billy Gray Williams to carry out the murder. Williams then recruited Smith and John Forrest Parker to assist in the crime.
Smith and Parker proceeded to fatally stab Elizabeth Sennett at her residence in Colbert County. Shortly after Elizabeth’s murder, Charles Sennett Sr. tragically took his own life upon discovering he was a suspect in the case. Billy Gray Williams received a life sentence without the possibility of parole and passed away in prison in November 2020.
Both Smith and John Forrest Parker were sentenced to capital punishment. Parker was executed through lethal injection in June 2010. Smith spent more than three decades on death row for his involvement in the murder-for-hire scheme targeting Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett in her Colbert County home in 1988. Elizabeth, who was the wife of a clergyman, was brutally assaulted and stabbed.
Smith admitted to his role in the crime following the murder, and court records indicate that he was paid around $1,000 for carrying out the killing of Elizabeth Sennett. Notably, Smith became the first death row inmate in the nation to be executed using nitrogen hypoxia, a method that involved placing a mask over his head and administering nitrogen gas into the device.