Convicted Killer Back in Court

1 decade 8 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:21:19 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News

The Missouri Supreme Court overturned Earnest Lee Johnson's two previous death sentences.

Johnson's lawyer said his client is mentally retarded, so the jury should not sentence Johnson to death.

"Under Missouri law, if he is mentally retarded, you can not put a mentally retarded person to death," explained defense attorney Tim Cisar. "So that would automatically disqualify him from the death sentence. So it would be automatic life without parole."

However, Boone County prosecutor Kevin Crane presented evidence which, he said, showed Johnson tried to cover up the murders. Crane showed pictures of the inside of Casey's General Store and a diagram of the store to the jury. Crane also showed where police found the victims and blood spatters.

After Johnson's conviction in 1995, the state Supreme Court overturned the death penalty because his original lawyer failed to introduce evidence of Johnson's drug use. In 1999, another jury convicted Johnson and again recommended the death penalty. But, the Supreme Court also overturned that death sentence, because of questions about his mental capacity.

The victims' relatives just want justice to be served.

"It's not going to bring my mom back. So what am I supposed to say? I don't know," said one victim's daughter, Lorrie Heichelbech. "I don't know how I would feel on that. I think, if you do a crime, you should get what you deserve. And if somebody beats somebody to death with a hammer, they should probably get what they deserve."

The latest penalty phase of the trial is expected to last the rest of this week. Jurors from Pettis County will decide the case in Boone County Circuit Court.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA -It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about suicide.... More >>
38 minutes ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education will vote on a $30 million bond issue Monday night at its meeting.... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:35 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - When someone goes to the doctor for a checkup, they might expect the regular look at their eyes,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:15:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's attorney general is weighing whether to appoint a special investigator to check into use of... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One MU Nursing School program has reduced the number of nursing home patients from hospitalization by nearly 50... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Attorney General's office is forming an advisory board to develop the first statewide program in Missouri that... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 12:22:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city plans to begin repairing base failures in the Thornbrook Subdivision beginning Dec. 11 at 8 a.m.... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri state representative has filed more legislation which would redefine "marriage" as a "contract of domestic... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Monday is the final day to donate to Columbia Parks and Recreation’s Almeta Crayton Memorial Toy Drive. ... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:58:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he wants his five new appointees to the state veterans... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:50:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: 1:44 P.M. A police officer confirmed white paint footprints are related to Monday's investigation. The police officer... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
10pm 41°
11pm 37°
12am 34°
1am 33°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Better Late Than Never
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Better Late Than Never
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld