Rockford man convicted of murder dies in prison custody

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 11:19 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:46 PM CST
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WILL COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - A Rockford man sentenced to life in prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend died while in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

A spokesperson for the IDOC confirmed the death of 46-year-old Rayshawn Smith. Following his sentencing in Winnebago County on Dec. 16, Smith was transferred to the Stateville Northern Receiving Center in Crest Hill. According to the Will County Coroner’s Office, Smith died on Sunday, Dec. 25 - Christmas day. An autopsy has already been performed, although a cause of death has not been released.

Smith pleaded guilty to the murder of 38-year-old Ashley Hardin in October.

Hardin was reported missing on July 23 and found by police in Roscoe hours later with two gunshot wounds. Smith posted a video to Facebook the same day, confessing to taking Hardin’s life.