ASU Professor Killer to Be Sentenced Today

MAY 11, 2004 - Posted at 7:40 a.m. CDT

STUTTGART, AR - Sentencing for a Stuttgart teenager convicted of killing an Arkansas State University professor is scheduled for today.

Kirk Otis was convicted of manslaughter yesterday.  Prosecutors had hoped for a capital murder conviction in the death of professor Barney Smith.

Kirk Otis was 14 years old when Smith, age 49, was shot and killed during a robbery at his mother's house.

The manslaughter conviction carries a prison sentence of between three and ten years.

Otis, now 17 years old, could have faced life in prison.  A judge barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against Otis because of his age at the time, but allowed them to try him as an adult.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)