Saturday 27 January 2024

Alabama Murderer Becomes First To Be Executed With Nitrogen Gas

 An Alabama man convicted of first-degree murder became the first death row inmate to be executed via nitrogen gas on Thursday.

Kenneth Eugene Smith, who killed Elizabeth Sennett in 1988 in a murder-for-hire plot, was declared dead at 8:25 p.m. Thursday after a mask was put over his face which pumped nitrogen gas into his body, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey confirmed the execution shortly after Smith, 58, was declared dead.

“After more than 30 years and attempt after attempt to game the system, Mr. Smith has answered for his horrendous crimes,” Ivey said. “The execution was lawfully carried out by nitrogen hypoxia, the method previously requested by Mr. Smith as an alternative to lethal injection.”

“I pray that Elizabeth Sennett’s family can receive closure after all these years dealing with that great loss,” Ivey added, according to

Smith was convicted of first-degree murder in 1996 and sentenced to death for his role in the murder-for-hire plot that targeted Sennett, the wife of a Church of Christ minister. According to evidence established at trial, Charles Sennett hired Billy Gray Williams to kill his wife, and Williams paid Smith, along with a man named John Forrest Parker, $1,000 to carry out the murder.

Smith and Williams drove to the Sennetts’ home when Elizabeth was there alone and attacked her with “their fists and other objects such as a poker, walking cane, fireplace tongs,” and a knife, according to documents from the trial, WVMT 13 reported. The murder investigation immediately focused on Charles Sennett as a suspect, and he killed himself just a week after his wife’s slaying.

Parker, Smith’s accomplice in the murder-for-hire, was executed by lethal injection in 2010, and Williams, who was sentenced to life without parole, died in prison in 2020. Smith survived the first attempt to execute him in November of 2022 after prison officials failed to access his veins to start an intravenous line for the lethal injection. After the botched execution attempt, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Smith’s lawyers who requested that he should be allowed to die by nitrogen hypoxia, according to

Smith appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday, requesting a halt to his execution, but the high court denied both attempts. The convicted murderer’s last meal was steak, hashbrowns, and eggs.


Following Smith’s execution, his spiritual advisor, Rev. Jeff Hood, said he was disturbed by Smith’s death via nitrogen gas after witnessing other executions that used lethal injections.

“Lethal injection is preferable every single day,” Hood said, adding, “What we saw was minutes of someone struggling for his life.”

“Kenny Smith was by no means a perfect person,” said Hood. “We have got to make sure that this never, ever, happens again.”

Sennett’s son Mike said that while Smith’s execution won’t bring his mother back, his “evil deeds” had been paid for.

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search