Convicted Killer Back in Court

1 decade 1 year 5 months 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
ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — The latest on the shooting in Maryland (all times local): 12:05 p.m. Law enforcement... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:34:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies with the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office arrested a driver in California after finding methamphetamines in his car.... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 10:20:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A pharmaceutical company has plans to come to Columbia, but is seeking a Chapter 100 Bond from the... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:42:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Organizations and activists aimed at improving the poverty situation in the state will gather for the 2018 Missouri... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:24:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After being inactive for nearly a year, the Missouri Board of Education is launching a search for... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 7:06:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - State Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, R-Hallsville, is changing the way she is fundraising after an ethics complaint and... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:17:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is treating the double shooting on Wednesday afternoon as a murder-suicide. ... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:00:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Some people living in Columbia's southside neighborhoods say thieves, using creative technology, are stealing from cars. Haley... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As Welcome Home marks the first anniversary of its new shelter, a once drug-addicted veteran is artfully finding... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:19:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
FULTON- After the State Auditor's report that more local money could go to domestic violence shelters, one survivor reiterated the... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Wednesday morning firefighters burned a simulated dorm room burn on the MU campus to show students how quickly... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 3:13:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY – Cole County ended its economic development contract with the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. The... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Sen. Claire McCaskill has announced she will oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. McCaskill's... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former prosecutor and chairman of Missouri's Democratic Party has been sentenced to two years and... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:55:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department ruled a Wednesday morning fire as suspicious. There were no injuries, but the... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As rivers are still rising in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, donations are also flooding in. However,... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:01:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — A Kansas City man has pleaded guilty in the fatal shooting of another man at a trailer... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 12:51:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The search for Missouri's next top education official has begun. The State Board of Education... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 11:24:10 AM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
2pm 93°
3pm 92°
4pm 93°
5pm 92°