A Missouri man convicted of killing a police officer, which he blames for the death of his brother, has been executed by lethal injection.
Kevin Johnson died after being injected with pentobarbital at Bontle State Prison.
His 19-year-old daughter Khorry Ramey Asks federal court to allow her to watch her father diebut one judge upholds state law Anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from witnessing the execution.
However, for the first time in modern executions MissouriJohnson was not alone in his death.
The 37-year-old is surrounded by his spiritual mentor, the Rev. Darryl Gray.
Pastor Gray said afterwards: “We read our scriptures and prayed.
“He apologized again. He apologized to the victim’s family. He apologized to his family.
“He said he was looking forward to seeing his little brother. He said he was ready.”
Johnson’s lawyers did not deny that he killed William McEntee, 43, in 2005, but claimed racism played a role in the decision to seek the death penalty and the jury’s decision to sentence him to death. Johnson was black and his victims were white.
But courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court and Republican Gov. Mike Parson, have refused to halt the execution.
Mr. McEntee, a married father of three, has been with the police department in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood for 20 years.
On July 5, 2005, he was dispatched, along with several police officers, to Johnson’s home to execute an arrest warrant for alleged probation violations.
Johnson’s 12-year-old brother, who has a congenital heart defect, collapsed and started having seizures. He later died in hospital.
When the officer later returned to the neighborhood to investigate reports unrelated to the fireworks, he was attacked by Johnson.
A court filing from the Missouri Attorney General’s office said the officer was questioning three children in Johnson’s car when he shot him several times through the open passenger-side window.
Johnson then walked down the street and told his mother that the officer “made my brother die” and “needed to see what it was like to die,” according to court documents.
While his mother replied, “That’s not true,” Johnson returned to the police patrol car, where he found the kneeling officer and shot him in the back and head, killing him.
Johnson later testified at trial that the officer prevented his mother from helping his brother.
The officer’s wife, Mary McEntee, issued a statement after Tuesday’s execution that Johnson played the role of “judge, juror and executioner” in the killing of her husband.
“Bill was killed on his hands and knees in front of strangers, the people he gave his life to,” she said.