Thursday, May 23, 2024

Alabama Executes Kenneth Smith by Nitrogen Hypoxia on January 25, 2024

Kenneth Smith, Alabama

Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2024

Kenneth Smith

On Thursday, January 25, 2024, Kenneth Smith was executed in Alabama.  Kenneth was pronounced dead at 8:25 pm local time.  His execution was delayed several hours due to appeals.  Kenneth was executed by nitrogen hypoxia, the first such execution in the United States.  Fifty-eight-year-old Kenneth was convicted of murdering Elizabeth Sennet on March 18, 1988, in Colbert County, Alabama. For the last 34 years, Kenneth resided on death row in Alabama.

Growing up, Kenneth alleges that he was neglected and deprived. Kenneth attended high school and eventually married. Throughout his life, he had worked at several different jobs and had one child. He did not have a significant history of criminal activity.

On March 18, 1988, Reverend Charles Sennett arrived home to discover the body of his wife Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett. Elizabeth was stabbed eight times in the chest and once on each side of the neck. She also had multiple abrasions and cuts.

Upon investigation, police discovered that Charles had recently taken out a large life insurance policy on his wife. Charles also had substantial debts. About one week after his wife’s murder, Charles committed suicide.

In early February 1988, Charles contacted Billy Williams, telling Williams he wanted someone killed. Williams then contacted Kenneth Smith and John Parker. Smith and Parker eventually agreed to help Williams. Charles agreed to pay $1,000 each for the murder of his wife. The murder was supposed to look like a burglary gone wrong.

It was decided that Smith and Parker would carry out the murder. They were told when Elizabeth would be at the house alone. Smith and Parker arrived at the house and claimed to be looking to hunt on the property. They were permitted to look around. Eventually, they asked to use the bathroom and Elizabeth let them into the house.

Parker when to use the bathroom and attacked Elizabeth from behind when he returned. According to Smith, Parker continued beating Elizabeth while he staged the robbery, including stealing a VCR and stereo. Smith claims he never stabbed Elizabeth.

Parker and Smith left the home and returned to Williams’ home, where they were paid. Parker bragged about stabbing Elizabeth on the drive to William’s home. Police eventually linked Smith to the crime and searched his home, discovering the VCR. Smith was arrested and eventually confessed to the police.

During his trial, Smith claimed that he was not aware of the plan to kill Elizabeth. Smith claimed he only knew of the plan to stage the robbery and beat up Elizabeth. 

This is not the first execution date for Kenneth Smith.  Alabama previously attempted to execute Kenneth in November 2022, however, the execution was called off after technicians failed to find a vein and insert and IV line before the execution warrant expired.  

Pray for peace for the family of Elizabeth Sennet. Pray for strength for the family of Kenneth Smith.

For more information regarding how your financial support can help, please click here.