A man on death row in Missouri was put to death, even though his lawyers tried to stop the execution on the grounds that the man was mentally ill.
The Associated Press, the Kansas City Star, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch all say that 45-year-old ki*ller Johnny A. Johnson died by lethal injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre on Tuesday evening.
Johnson was found guilty in St. Louis County of kil*ling and trying to rape 6-year-old Cassandra “Casey” Williamson in 2002.
Sunday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said that Johnson’s crime was “one of the most horrific mu*rders that has come across my desk.”
He wrote, “Casey was a good little girl who fought Johnson bravely until he ki*lled her.” “In the last few weeks, my office has gotten a lot of letters asking for justice for Casey. Giving Johnson the sentence the court ordered will not bring her back, but we hope it will help Casey’s family and friends find peace.
In 2005, Johnson was found guilty of many crimes by a jury, including first-degree mur*der, armed criminal action, kidnapping, and trying to rape someone against their will. He was given the de*ath sentence.
The AP, the Kansas City Star, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch all say that Johnson said he was sorry right before he was put to de*ath.
As his last word, “God Bless,” is read. “I’m sorry to the family and friends I hurt.”
News sources say Johnson was put to de*ath after his unsuccessful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution. Along with Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sonia Sotomayor did not agree with the decision.
The Kansas City Star reports that Johnson’s lawyers have said that his schizophrenia makes it impossible for him to understand the link between his execution and the crime he committed. In a recent document obtained by the news outlet, Johnson’s lawyers said that their client believes that Satan “used” the State of Missouri to put him to death so that the end of the world could happen, and that Satan’s voice told him this was the plan.
According to the AP, Johnson’s defence lawyers said in court that the ex-convict had been released from a state psychiatric facility about six months before the kil*ling and had stopped taking his schizophrenia medication, which made him act differently.
Gov. Parson said on Monday that the execution would go ahead after the Missouri Supreme Court and a federal appeals court both said that “Johnson was competent at the time and is competent now.”
Angie Wideman, the victim’s mother, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week that she was “ready to put the whole thing behind her.”
This is the 16th prisoner to be put to death in the United States this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.
Records show that in July 2002, Casey and her father were staying with a friend in Valley Park while Johnson, who was 24 at the time, stayed with a friend. Casey then disappeared.
A girl was lured out of the house by Johnson and led down the street, where he led her through an empty glass factory, tunnels, and a pit that had been dug up. Johnson tried to rape the girl, but she fought back. He ki*lled her by hitting her several times with bricks and rocks, breaking her skull several times.
The records show that he buried Casey with rocks, leaves, and other things from the pit. “Then he went to the nearby Meramec River to clean the body of Casey of blood and other evidence.”
FOX4 KC reported that after the girl’s parents reported her missing, a search between several police departments began. The girl’s body was found not far from her home, less than a mile away.
Soon after, Johnson was caught and admitted to committing the crime.