Albany killer dies in prison - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany killer dies in prison

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:19:59 GMT
    James Smith, studentJames Smith, student
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
  • Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:14:47 GMT
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
  • Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:11:03 GMT
    Scott Vandermolen, Florida residentScott Vandermolen, Florida resident
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>

April 18, 2003

Albany-- An Albany convicted killer dies in prison.

Dougherty County District Attorney Ken Hodges says, "It is ironic that he has died." The family of the woman he killed wants to see his body.

In July 1989, Sherry Lynn Pollard was strangled and raped while working at the Motel Six in East Albany. Her killer, Bobby Lee Smith, was tried and sentenced to three life terms in prison. Now after serving six years of that sentence at Augusta State Prison, he has died at the age of 42.

In March 1997, Bobby Lee Smith was given three life sentences plus 76 years for killing and raping 20-year-old Sherry Lynn Pollard at this motel. He only served six years of that sentence. D.A. Ken Hodges says, "That case languished here in Dougherty County for seven and a half years before going to trial first case I took after being elected in 1997."

When District Attorney Ken Hodges took office in January 1997 there were seven death penalty cases on the books--Smith's case was the oldest, "Originally it was a death penalty case, but Smith's IQ tests were in the borderline retarded area"

State experts tested Smith's IQ into the high 60's and low 70's--70 is the demarcation line, "It was an absolutely brutal and heinous crime that absolutely deserved the death penalty but because of all the mental issues and how long it had been sitting we did, with agreement of the family, withdraw the death notice."

The jury had the option of finding Smith guilty but mentally retarded--but they didn't do that. Hodges believes had Smith been sentenced to death seven years ago, he still would never have faced execution, "It's my opinion that had he been healthier and had we sought the death penalty he would probably still be alive today. So it's ironic we did not seek the death penalty and he is now deceased." Bobby Lee Smith will be buried in Albany tomorrow.

Sherry Lynn Pollard's mother has asked to view Smith's body, to see with her own eyes that her daughter's killer is dead.

Posted at 3:54 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com