Johnson Again Gets Death Penalty

1 decade 1 year 3 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
STURGEON - The oldest county fair west of the Mississippi kicks off Tuesday in Sturgeon. The Boone County fair... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:49:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Expecting mothers in Boone County will soon have more services at their disposal. The county received... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a proposed energy transmission project through northern Missouri, got new life... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - A child identification program wants to help parents be as prepared as possible in the event that a... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nineteen agencies received more than $115,000 in grant money Tuesday from the United Way of Central Missouri.... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:56:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people may notice their trash laying out on the curb for longer than usual on Tuesday. ... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - A car chase which started in Cole County on Tuesday ended in Columbia with two arrests. ... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The group fighting a ballot measure that would make Missouri a right-to-work state has outraised its... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:17:30 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say two planes carrying more than 250 passengers made emergency landings at Kansas City International... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:11:34 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police records related to the shooting death of Rovon Blocker suggest the incident appeared to be accidental. ... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:39:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Three Fulton men are in custody after being charged with stealing and drug offenses, in connection to... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:01:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
FULTON - A judge sentenced a man convicted of a dozen sex crimes, some involving children, to sixty years in... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:05:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is open to holding direct talks with the Taliban to encourage negotiations between the... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:30:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – City council approved two public hearings in August to discuss possible increases to the property tax and sewer... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Gov. Eric Greitens' campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees in his... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:03:27 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to rename the Columbia post office located on Walnut... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 6:51:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Family, friends and law enforcement continue to search Little Dixie Lake Conservation Area for Jerry Kinman. ... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 6:00:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 87°
5pm 88°
6pm 86°
7pm 85°
8pm 83°