Jamie Smith was sentenced to death by the State of North Carolina for the sexual assault and murder of Kelli Froemke. According to court documents Jamie Smith would ask Kelli Froemke to use her phone and once inside of her apartments she was sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times causing her death. Jamie Smith was also convicted in the fatal arson that would kill David Cotton and severely injure two women. Jamie Smith would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Jamie Smith 2021 Information
|Probation/Parole/Post Release Status:||INACTIVE|
|Current Location:||CENTRAL PRISON|
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The offenses for which defendant was sentenced in this case were committed on 16 January 1995. The victim, Kelli Froemke, a nineteen-year-old college student, lived with her brother and his girlfriend in their apartment in Asheville. In a statement later given to law enforcement officers, defendant said he gained entry to the apartment by asking Kelli, who was alone at the time, if he could use the telephone. Once in the apartment, defendant demanded money at knifepoint, then forced Kelli into her bedroom and raped her. He then stabbed her more than sixty times. Before leaving, defendant set a fire in the bedroom closet to cover up what he had done. He walked away from the apartment, carrying the cordless phone and Kelli’s car keys with him. Kelli’s brother and his girlfriend returned to the apartment shortly after 10:00 p.m. and found it full of smoke. After alerting a neighbor to call 911, Kelli’s brother made his way through the smoke to Kelli’s bedroom where he found her body. He pulled her onto a landing where he administered CPR until the fire department arrived.
Defendant was identified by a neighbor as having been seen around the apartment complex where Kelli lived on the night of the crime. He ultimately gave more than one statement to the police, first implicating a friend, then confessing it was his own intention to rob Kelli, whom he saw getting out of her car, for money for cocaine.
When asked about other recent crimes, defendant told officers he had pled guilty to larceny at the Mountain Trace apartment complex. He also implicated himself in a fire at the Grace Apartments. In subsequent statements defendant elaborated: on 11 December 1994 he and a friend went to the Grace Apartments, knocking on doors to see which apartments were occupied, intending to break in. They eventually stole the mail from the apartment mailboxes. Later that night they broke into a Mountain Trace apartment, stole a computer and other items, and attempted to cover up that theft by starting a fire. About a week later they returned to the Grace Apartments and started a second fire with kerosene to cover up their mail theft. This fire resulted in serious injuries and one death: Phillip Cotton, an eighteen-year-old, died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Another resident of the apartments hung out her window until her hands burned, then fell three stories, breaking her neck. A third resident suffered burns so severe her legs had to be amputated. Defendant was subsequently convicted of the crimes committed in these incidents and sentenced to death for the murder of Phillip Cotton.