National Guard to Honor Slain ASU Professor

STUTTGART, AR - The Arkansas National Guard says it will name its armory in Stuttgart for a lieutenant colonel who was killed in the city in 2001 while visiting his mother.

Lieutenant Colonel Barney G. Smith was shot to death on the porch of his mother's home by a young assailant.  On Saturday, the guard will hold a ceremony in Smith's honor at its Readiness Center near the Stuttgart airport.

Smith, who was 49 when he died, was an Arkansas State University military science professor.  He served 32 years in the Arkansas Army National Guard.  Smith's fellow guardsmen say Smith was talkative, popular and easy to like.

Smith's daughter Sarah Murray says the naming of the armory is an honor and a blessing.

Kirk E. Otis was convicted of killing Smith.  Otis was 14 at the time of the shooting and was convicted of manslaughter in 2004.  He was released on parole a year-and-a-half later.  Last month Otis began serving a 60-day sentence in Malvern for allegedly giving false information to a police officer during a traffic stop.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)