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Charles Franklin SMITH





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Alcoholic
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 22, 1986
Date of birth: September 28, 1942
Victim profile: Alice Lydia Smith, 27 (his pregnant wife)
Method of murder: Hogtied with an electrical cord and left her to die of exposure at an abandoned dump
Location: Coos County, Oregon, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on June 26, 1987. Commuted to life in prison in 1990

Charles Franklin Smith

Coos County - Oregon

Born: 9/28/42

Sentenced to death: 6/26/1987

Smith hogtied his pregnant wife, Alice Lydia Smith, 27, with an electrical cord and left her to die of exposure at an abandoned dump in November 1986. His sentence was later overturned based on a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Interesting fact: Smith fixed the tire on his stepdaughter's bicycle shortly before driving off with his wife the morning he tied her up near the dump.

Status: Life sentence.





Summary of Facts

The murder victim, 27-year-old Alice Smith, disappeared on November 22, 1986. Her body was found December 20, 1986, near an abandoned dump site.

Defendant, Charles Franklin Smith, the victim's husband of 10 years, lived and was undergoing alcohol therapy at the Coos County Correctional Treatment Facility (the Center) as a condition of his probation for a previous assault conviction.

On November 22, 1986, the victim and her sister drove to the Center to pick up defendant. Defendant carried a length of electrical wire, which he said he was going to use to fix the muffler on the victim's car. The victim said there was no need to fix the muffler but defendant insisted, saying that he had planned to fix the muffler and would do so.

From the Center, the three went to the victim's mother's house, where the victim had been living. While there, defendant exchanged words with Stephen Maugh over an alleged affair between Maugh and the victim. After defendant repaired a tire on his step-daughter's bicycle, defendant and the victim drove to the residence of Bob Tavernier where defendant said he wanted to store his tools and fix the muffler. Defendant did unload his tools, but did not fix the muffler.

The victim and defendant left the Taverniers' house between 10:45 and 11:00 a.m. Defendant was next seen between 11:30 a.m. and noon. After spending the remainder of the day visiting various friends, he walked back to the Center that evening.

After defendant and the victim left the Taverniers' house, defendant claims that the victim dropped him off at McKay's store, told him that she was going home to take her daughter to a birthday party, and drove away. Defendant claims that to be the last time that he saw her.

When the victim did not return home, friends and family members began searching for her. The victim's automobile was found at the Silver Dollar Tavern, with her car keys and her purse inside. Family members filed a missing person report with the Coos County Sheriff's Office. The deputies were informed that defendant was the last person seen with the victim.

On December 20, 1986, a man walking his hunting dogs discovered a partially nude female body in a remote area of Coos County close to an abandoned dump site. He observed that the victim's hands and feet were tied behind her back with electrical wire. In the vicinity, officers found a cigarette butt and an empty cigarette package that later was matched to defendant's brand.

On December 23, 1986, the body was positively identified as that of Alice Smith. The cause of death was determined to be exposure.

Defendant was convicted on Count 2 of the indictment, which alleged aggravated felony murder in the course of kidnapping in the second degree. The indictment reads, in part:

" he said Charles Franklin Smith, between or about November 22, 1986 and December 20, 1986 * * * did unlawfully and intentionally commit the crime of Kidnapping in the Second Degree and in the course of and in furtherance of said crime which the said defendant was committing, the said defendant personally and intentionally did cause the death of another human being, to-wit: Alice Lydia Smith, not a participant in the crime, by tieing [ sic ] her hands and feet together behind her back and leaving her in a remote area to die."



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