Indiana Death Row



DOB: 10-10-1953 DOC#: 10440 Black Male

Allen County Superior Court
Judge Alfred W. Moellering

Prosecutor: Gregory L. Fumarolo, James P. Posey

Defense: Theodore D. Wilson

Date of Murder: December 10, 1982

Victim(s): Carmine Zink W/F/20 (No relationship to Smith)

Method of Murder: shooting with .32 handgun

Summary: Smith left in a car one night accompanied by Phillip Lee and Briddie Johnson. They stopped to let Smith pick up a .32 handgun and agreed to stake out a local restaurant for likely robbery victims. They went to The Elegant Farmer in Ft. Wayne, parked the car in the lot, and waited. Brenda Chandler and Carmine Zink arrived to attend a Christmas party at the restaurant. Smith and Johnson left the car and with stockings over their heads confronted Chandler and Zink, intent on taking their purses. Smith seized Zink, put her in a headlock, and put the .32 handgun to her head. Johnson was struggling with Chandler, who heard a single gunshot. Smith and Johnson fled. Zink lay on the ground dead as a result of a single gunshot to the head. Lee testified at trial under an agreement with the State and confirmed the above scenario.

Conviction: Murder, Felony-Murder, Habitual Offender (trifurcated trial)

Sentencing: October 18, 1983 (Death Sentence)

Aggravating Circumstances: b (1) Robbery

Mitigating Circumstances: None

Direct Appeal:
Smith v. State, 475 N.E.2d 1139 (Ind. March 25, 1985)
Conviction Affirmed 5-0 DP Affirmed 4-1
Givan Opinion; Hunter, Pivarnik, Prentice concur; Debruler dissents.

PCR Petition filed 07-02-85. PCR denied 07-31-87 by Allen County Superior Court Judge Alfred W. Moellering.
Smith v. State, 547 N.E.2d 817 (Ind. 1989)
Appeal of PCR denial - Conviction Reversed 5-0 DP Vacated 5-0
((Ineffective trial counsel in failing to investigate and pursue alibi defense, failing to pursue impeachment of key witness, failure to object to polygraph reference, and failure to investigate and present any mitigation.)
Givan Opinion;Shepard, Debruler, Pivarnik, Dickson concur.

Smith v. State, 547 N.E.2d 822 (Ind. 1989)
(On Rehearing; Habitual Offender finding reversed on sufficiency grounds due to no proof of proper sequence of prior convictions, Givan Opinion 5-0)

On Remand:
Amended Information to Add Robbery (A Felony) (05-24-90); Application for Death Sentence Withdrawn (05-24-90); Jury Selection in Marion County (04-29-91, 04-30-91); Jury Trial in Allen County (5-01-91, 05-02-91, 05-03-91, 05-04-91, 05-06-91, 05-07-91, 05-08-91, 05-09-91); Deliberations 8 hours, 50 minutes; Verdict (05-09-91).

On remand, the State withdrew its Application for Death Sentence, and added a count of Robbery (Class A Felony). A jury was selected in Marion County for retrial in Allen County. After 8 days of trial and 9 hours of deliberations, the jury found Charles Smith NOT GUILTY of all charges (Murder, Felony-Murder, Robbery). Allen County Superior Court, Judge John F. Surbeck, Jr..

As of July 1, 2006

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