BONNE TERRE, Mo. (TCD) — Missouri Department of Corrections officials executed a 45-year-old man by lethal injection Tuesday, Aug. 1, after he received the death penalty for killing a 6-year-old girl in the summer of 2002.
The Associated Press reports Johnny Johnson, who was held at a prison in Bonne Terre, died at 6:33 p.m. after being administered a dose of pentobarbital. Missouri Department of Corrections records show he was convicted of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, forcible rape/attempt forcible rape, kidnapping, and stealing in connection with the murder of Casey Williamson.
He reportedly apologized in a statement prior to his execution, writing, “God Bless. Sorry to the people and family I hurt.”
On July 31, Missouri Gov. Michael Parson announced in a statement the state would carry out the execution because it was ordered by the Supreme Court of Missouri.
Parson wrote, “Johnny Johnson’s crime is one of the most horrific murders that has come across my desk. Casey was an innocent young girl who bravely fought Johnson until he took her life.”
According to the governor’s statement, Johnson kidnapped and “brutally murdered” Casey at an abandoned factory. The girl tried to defend herself as he attempted to rape her, but Johnson “repeatedly struck her head with a brick until finally crushing her skull with a ‘basketball-sized boulder.'”
Parson argued Johnson was deemed competent at the time of Casey’s death “and is competent now.”
The Associated Press reports Casey’s body was left under rocks in a pit near her home.
On Aug. 1, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Johnson’s appeal to cancel the execution. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Johnson “has a decades-long documented history of severe mental illness, including schizophrenia.”
Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson also voted against the decision.
Sotomayor cited a psychiatrist who reviewed Johnson’s medical records and noted, “Johnson is aware he is on death row and that he was convicted of murder. However, he does not have a rational understanding of the link between his crime and his punishment. His understanding of the reason for his execution is irrational and delusional, because he believes it is Satan using the State of Missouri to execute him in order to bring about the end of the world and that the voice of Satan confirmed this plan to him.”
Johnson reportedly “heard voices telling him to cut his own arm off and he cut himself repeatedly with a razor,” and “”expressed delusions about his death, including repeatedly observing that the world will end when he dies.”
According to The Associated Press, members of Casey’s family, a former prosecutor, and a detective attended the execution.
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