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Missouri executes convicted killer Johnny Johnson

Convicted murderer Johnny Johnson was executed by lethal injection on August 1, 2023 in Bonne Terre (file photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Corrections)

An eastern Missouri man who beat a six-year-old girl to death with a brick and boulder more than 21 years ago has been executed by lethal injection.

Missouri’s governor rejected a clemency request from 45-year-old Johnny Johnson of Valley Park, who also tried to rape six-year-old Casey Williamson.

Johnson’s lawyers say Johnson was not mentally competent to be executed. The U-S Supreme Court rejected a late defense request for a stay, with three justices dissenting.

Governor Mike Parson says his office has received countless letters in the last few weeks, supporting the execution. The Missouri Supreme Court ordered the execution in April. Former St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who prosecuted Johnson in 2002, attended the execution. Mr. McCulloch tells the Associated Press that the arguments from Johnson’s attorneys were “nonsense” and that Johnson inflicted what he calls unspeakable horrors on Casey Williamson.