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Frazier gets maximum sentence a 2nd time

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

HUNTINGTON – Robert Scott Frazier’s lack of remorse over the death of his girlfriend proved enough to convince a Cabell County judge to order the maximum punishment, a 40-year prison sentence, a second time for the Huntington man.

Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson handed down the sentence Wednesday in the Aug. 25, 2008, shooting death of Frazier’s girlfriend, Kathryn Gale Smith. It mirrored the punishment Ferguson ordered in 2010, before the Supreme Court overturned Frazier’s initial conviction and granted him a new trial.

That led to Frazier’s second jury trial in mid-September. It ended with the same result, a conviction of second-degree murder.

“I find nothing in the record to indicate that it should be anything less than a maximum (sentence),” Ferguson told the defendant.

The victim’s uncle, Henry Smith, remembered his niece as a fine person. He doubted defense claims about Frazier’s rehabilitation and asked for a sentence far greater than state law allowed.

“If you needed a dollar, she’d give it to you,” he told the court. “But Mr. Frazier seen fit to blow her head off with a shotgun. To me that’s just horrible.”

Ferguson, in acknowledging Frazier’s right to appeal the punishment, explained the reasoning behind Wednesday’s sentence. He noted Frazier’s history of drug and alcohol use, missed child support payments and unemployment.

The judge also mentioned a lack of remorse on Frazier’s part, specifically noting his initial, video-recorded statement to police and his decision to provide no statement at Wednesday’s sentencing.

“I’ve seen none,” Ferguson said. “I saw no remorse. It was all about Robert at that time. It was never about the victim. There were no tears shed for her. There was no, ‘I’m sorry that I killed her.’”

At last month’s trial, Frazier claimed the gunshot was an accident, testifying the gun fired as he and his girlfriend struggled for the weapon during their dispute at their residence in Guyandotte’s 500 block of Richmond Street. He further testified that he never intentionally pulled the trigger, saying that his finger must have hit it by mistake if he caused it to discharge.

Frazier indicated in court Wednesday his wish to appeal.

The state Supreme Court, by a 4-1 decision, tossed out Frazier's first conviction. It ruled that Ferguson erred in permitting the state's chief medical examiner to testify on behalf of his terminated deputy, an error corrected last month when prosecutors called the deputy as their first witness.

Follow Curtis Johnson at Facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD and via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD.



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