Alabama to Execute Man Who Murdered a Preacher’s Wife in 1988

The state of Alabama is moving forward with the execution of a man convicted in 1988 for carrying out a hit on a preacher’s wife.

Kenneth Eugene Smith, 57, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Thursday evening.

According to ABC News, Smith was one of two men paid $1,000 each to kill Elizabeth Sennett on behalf of her husband, preacher Charles Sennett Sr. Charles was reportedly deep in debt and wanted to collect insurance money.

In March 1988, authorities discovered the body of Sennett at the couple’s home in Colbert County in Alabama. She was stabbed in the chest eight times and once on each side of her neck.

Her husband killed himself just a week after her death as suspicion arose that he had something to do with her murder.

Smith later told police that it was “agreed for John and I to do the murder” and make it look like a burglary.

In 1989, Smith was convicted, and the jury recommended a death sentence, but his conviction was overturned on appeal in 1992.

In 1996, he was retried and convicted, and the jury recommended a life sentence. The judge, however, overrode the recommendation and sentenced Smith to death.

In 2017, the state of Alabama reversed its law that allowed judges to overrule jury sentencing.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a stay of execution from Smith.

In his final appeals, Smith’s attorneys pointed to the state’s most recent difficulties with scheduled lethal injections, including delays because of problems with IV lines.

The second man convicted in the killings, John Forrest Parker, was executed in 2010. He was 42.

“I’m sorry. I don’t ever expect you to forgive me. I really am sorry,” Parker said to the victim’s sons before his execution.

Photo courtesy: ©Pexels/Donald Tong

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.