BY CATHERINE TSAI
The Cincinnati Enquirer
OWENTON -- With his 9-year-old victim watching, Temothy K. Smith, 23, of Owenton was sentenced Tuesday to life plus 110 years in prison for raping and killing the child's mother.
Mr. Smith, who pleaded guilty to the rape and beating of Betty Williams and her child, killed the mother and left the daughter for dead last August. He must serve at least 25 years before having a chance of parole.
Mr. Smith received the life sentence for Mrs. Williams' murder; he earned 110 years for seven other charges, including robbery, rape and attempted murder.
Last August, Mrs. Williams, 27, was found dead in her trailer home with her daughter, then 8 years old, unconscious in her arms. Both of their throats had been slashed, but the girl was alive.
Police said the attacker had used a fireplace poker to beat the two victims, ultimately causing Mrs. Williams' death.
A few days later, the girl identified the attacker as Mr. Smith. He had originally pleaded not guilty to his eight charges, but he later admitted guilt through a plea agreement, thereby avoiding any chance of the death penalty.
That left sentencing without a trial to senior retired Judge Raymond Lape Jr., who was filling in for Judge Charles Satterwhite. The plea agreement was reached largely because Commonwealth Attorney James Crawford had said he would have wanted the girl's testimony if he tried to get the death penalty, Judge Lape said.
"I spoke with all of the parties involved, and they felt it was in the best interest of the victim that she didn't have to sit through a two-week trial and have this all rehashed," he said. "In my opinion, the prosecutor and the family and the attorney for the defense did what was best. Now there's no chance for appeals. This is over with."
The girl, whose father is deceased, has since been placed with a foster family outside Owen County.
During the sentencing, she sat with her designated social worker, Janice Minch, and an attorney during the sentencing. Ms. Minch had said the girl wanted to be there to see what happened to Mr. Smith. Her foster family was also in the courtroom to offer support.
"I'm pleased this is, hopefully, finally over with, and that it'll give some closure to everyone involved," Ms. Minch said on behalf of the girl.