Man convicted of murdering ex-girlfriend dies in prison on Christmas Day

Authorities in Illinois says Rayshawn Smith has died in prison after pleading guilty to...
Authorities in Illinois says Rayshawn Smith has died in prison after pleading guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend.(Winnebago County Sheriff)
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:30 PM CST
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CREST HILL, Ill. (WIFR/Gray News) - Illinois authorities say a prisoner has died while serving a life sentence for murder.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, 46-year-old Rayshawn Smith died while in custody on Christmas Day.

WIFR reports Smith had pleaded guilty in the murder case of his ex-girlfriend Ashley Hardin, 38, earlier this year. He was given a life sentence on Dec. 16 and transferred to the Stateville Northern Reception and Classification Center.

Authorities said an autopsy has been performed, but Smith’s cause of death has not been immediately released.

Smith reportedly posted a video on social media in July, confessing to taking Hardin’s life. Police said they had found her body with two gunshot wounds in Winnebago County.