(LibertySociety.com) – Missouri executed a 45-year-old child killer on August 1. Johnny Johnson died by lethal injection at Missouri state prison in Bonne Terre in the fourth execution in the Show Me State this year.
A jury convicted Johnson of murdering 6-year-old Casey Williamson in 2002, but the execution was halted recently when lawyers raised questions about his mental competency. Attorneys for the condemned said he had schizophrenia and could not fully understand the connection between his crime and the punishment he was scheduled to receive.
A panel of judges however at the Missouri Appeals Court overturned the suspension on July 31 at the request of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Governor Mike Parson gave the go-ahead to the execution the same day. “Johnny Johnson’s crime is one of the most horrific murders that has come across my desk,” the Governor said.
In the hours leading up to his death, the murderer was granted a final meal. He chose a burger, fries, and a strawberry milkshake. Johnson’s last words were, “God Bless. Sorry to the people and family I hurt.” He was pronounced dead at 7:33 pm EST.
The details of the horrific crime were made public during the trial. In July 2002, Johnson lured Casey Williamson to an abandoned glass factory where he attempted to rape her. The child fought back but Johnson ferociously beat her around the head with bricks and left her lifeless body covered in leaves and mud before cleaning himself off in a river nearby. He confessed to the murder the same day. He was 24 years old at the time.
The first Missouri execution of 2023 took place on January 3, when Amber McLaughlin died by lethal injection for the murder of Beverley Guenther in St. Louis. In February, Leonard Taylor faced capital punishment for killing four people, and Michael Andrew died in June for murdering two correctional officers. The state of Missouri has executed 55 people since the year 2000.
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