BONNE TERRE, Mo. – A man who kidnapped a 6-year-old Missouri girl and beat her to death in 2002 was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, prison officials said.
Johnny Johnson, 45, was pronounced dead at 6:33 p.m. CDT at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, KTVI reported.
Johnson was convicted in the July 2002 murder of Cassandra “Casey” Williams in the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park, according to the television station.
The execution was carried out shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Johnson’s legal team to block the lethal injection, The Associated Press reported. Johnson’s attorneys argued that he was mentally incompetent.
Three of the justices dissented in the decision, according to the news organization.
Johnson, in his final statement that was issued on Sunday, said, “God Bless. Sorry to the people and family I hurt,” KTVI reported.
A jury in January 2005 convicted Johnson of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, kidnapping and attempted forcible rape, according to the television station. He was sentenced to death by a judge two months later.
A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted Johnson a temporary stay on July 25, KTVI reported. The full court overturned the stay on Saturday, according to the television station.
Williamson disappeared from her hometown on July 26, 2002.
According to court records, Johnson’s older sister was best friends with the child’s mother. After Johnson attended a barbecue the night before the murder, Williamson’s family allowed him to spend the night on a couch in a residence belonging to a friend of the girl’s family, KTVI reported.
Court documents stated that Johnson lured the girl the next morning to an abandoned factory, even carrying her to the site, according to the television station.
When Johnson attempted to sexually assault the girl, she screamed and attempted to break free. Johnson then admitted to killing her with a brick and a large rock, then washed himself off in the nearby Meramec River, KTVI reported.
Authorities said that Johnson confessed to the crimes later that day.
Williamson’s body was found buried beneath rocks and debris in a pit about a mile from her home, the AP reported.
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