COLUMBUS, Ohio – A condemned Ohio killer is making an unusual plea for mercy ahead of his scheduled execution next month.
Attorneys for Steven Smith are arguing that while Smith intended to sexually assault his girlfriend's 6-month-old daughter, he never intended to kill the girl.
Smith's attorneys say evidence shows the baby died because Smith was too drunk to realize his sexual assault was killing the child.
Smith's attorneys say Ohio law is clear that a death sentence must involve an intent to kill the victim.
Prosecutors call the 1998 death of Autumn Carter the purposeful murder of a helpless baby girl.
Lawyers on both sides planned to make their case Tuesday to the Ohio Parole Board in Columbus.
The 46-year-old Smith, of Mansfield, is scheduled to die May 1.