State of Missouri v. Gerald Smith

649 SW 2d 417 (Mo.banc 1983)

Gerald Smith was executed on January 18, 1990

Case Facts: Smith and his girlfriend at the time were driving around in the girlfriend’s car. After an hour or so, Smith announced that his intentions were to visit a person whom he said was his cousin. Smith told his girlfriend that he was going to hurt this person because she had once given him “the clap”. At approximately 9:30pm, Smith and his girlfriend drove to the home of Karen Roberts, the victim. After some time, the girlfriend went home and Karen was persuaded to stay by Smith . Sometime after the girlfriend’s departure, Smith left his house to walk Karen home. During the walk they argued as to whether she had given him a venereal disease. At one point, Karen cursed him and Smith pushed her to the ground. When she got up, Karen was holding a heavy metal bar which she swung at Smith. Smith blocked the blow and jerked the bar away. When Karen started to run, Smith chased her. He finally caught her and bludgeoned her to death with the metal bar. An autopsy revealed massive head injuries. The back of her skull was caved in; she suffered six head lacerations, skull fractures “too numerous to count”, and multiple contusions and bruises of the brain.