Johnson Again Gets Death Penalty

1 decade 2 years 6 months ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:35:10 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News

"He needs to be punished for his wrongdoing," said one victim's relative. "And he should not take mentally retarded people down with him and hide behind the mask of mental retardation and say that he himself is mentally retarded whenever he is cold and calculated and brutal."

A Pettis County jury began deliberating about 4:30 p.m.Thursday, after hearing four days of testimony in the penalty phase of Ernest Lee Johnson's trial.

It didn't take long for them to decide on his punishment, returning to the Boone County Courthouse just two and a half hours later.

Johnson showed little reaction to his latest death sentence, although victims' families cried and hugged each other. Relatives seemed relieved that the 12-year-old case finally appeared to be over.

Earlier, jurors heard an expert witness describe Johnson's low IQ. The defense also said Johnson had a difficult childhood, but the prosecution said that was no excuse to kill three people.

A Boone County jury convicted Johnson in 1995 of beating to death three employees at Casey's General Store in Columbia. That jury, and later a Clay County jury, recommended the death penalty.

But, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned both death sentences because of questions about Johnson's illegal drug use and his mental capacity.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 states could not execute mentally-retarded defendants.

Missouri's death sentence includes an automatic right to appeal, so Johnson's lawyers have until June 12 to ask for another trial.

More News

Grid
List
CAMDENTON — Camdenton City Clerk Renee Kingston didn't fall for a traffic violation scam. Kingston said she received two... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 7:50:00 PM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A father was shot with his four children in his car while driving in south... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 7:36:00 PM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education will discuss modifications to the public comment section of its meetings Monday night.... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 5:13:00 PM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The CEO of Dow Inc. has donated $6 million to a new University of Missouri health institute... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 12:49:00 PM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
CENTRALIA — The city of Centralia held its first monthly meeting on public safety Monday night since the firing of... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 11:51:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
KEYTESVILLE- A mid-Missouri father filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against the man accused of causing his disabled daughter's death... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 11:21:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A local group wants to expand the Jefferson City National Cemetery by relocating East Miller Park across... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 10:25:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - The Columbia/ Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is opening community-based pop up flu clinics... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 10:20:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Moms Demand Action is partnering with Stop the Bleed Coalition to hold crisis first aid training on... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 3:40:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Maries County sheriff's deputies said a drunk driver was to blame in a fatal car crash from early... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:46:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Drivers on I-70 westbound saw 2 mile long delays around mile marker 124 when the Missouri State Highway... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said the number of people using the Katy Trail is down by... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 3:08:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The CDC began monitoring the 2019-2020 flu season this weekend. And doctors are urging people to get their... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 2:55:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — Six Columbia churches had their first Sunday service with improved emergency health precautions on Oct. 13. The... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 2:00:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
HARSTBURG – Celebrating another fall season with pumpkin carving, hayrides and a straw maze, the 28th annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
TOKYO (AP) — A heavy downpour and strong winds pounded Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday as a powerful typhoon... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:03:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
LILBOURN, Mo. (AP) — A small earthquake has been reported in southeastern Missouri. The U.S. Geological Survey says... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 7:41:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — One person died after a crash in Cooper County Saturday morning. Haven Pennington, 19, drove her Pontiac... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 4:55:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
4am 56°
5am 56°
6am 56°
7am 56°