A Guy Was Executed in Missouri in 2005 for the Murder of a Police Officer

A Guy Was Executed in Missouri: A guy from Missouri who was found guilty of ambushing and killing a police officer in the St. Louis region, whom he held responsible for the loss of his younger brother, has been put to death.

A Person Was Put to Death in Missouri

A Missouri man was hanged Tuesday night for ambushing and killing a St. Louis police officer he blamed for his brother’s death. Kevin Johnson, 37, died from a pentobarbital injection at Bonne Terre State Prison. The state’s second execution this year and the 17th overall. Two additional executions are set in Missouri for the first few weeks of 2023.

Johnson’s defenders didn’t contest that he killed Officer William McEntee in 2005, but said he was sentenced to death in part because he is Black. The Supreme Court and Republican Gov. Mike Parson did not stop the execution. Johnson didn’t say goodbye before the fatal medication. Johnson’s execution was Missouri’s first with a witness. His spiritual counselor, the Rev. Darryl Gray, sat by his side. The men whispered gently until the medicine was delivered. Gray read the Bible while Johnson closed his eyes. Within seconds, all movement ended. Gray, a St. Louis racial justice activist, read or prayed while caressing Johnson’s shoulder.

“We read scripture and had a word of prayer,” Gray added. “He apologized. He apologized. He apologized to his family. He was excited to see his infant sibling. And he replied he was ready.” McEntee, 43, was a 20-year veteran of the police force in Kirkwood, a St. Louis suburb. He served Johnson’s arrest warrant on July 5, 2005, at his residence. Police claimed Johnson breached probation for abusing his girlfriend.

Johnson awakened his 12-year-old brother, Joseph “Bam Bam” Long, who fled to a neighboring residence. A congenital heart defect-afflicted kid fainted and had a seizure. Johnson testified at trial that McEntee blocked his mother from entering the house to rescue his brother, who died a short time later at a hospital.

McEntee returned to the neighborhood that night to investigate unrelated fireworks reports. The Missouri attorney general’s office said Johnson shot McEntee through the open passenger-side window as he was interviewing three youngsters. Teenage survivor. Johnson took McEntee’s pistol in the vehicle.

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A Guy Was Executed in Missouri
The court document claimed Johnson walked down the street and informed his mother that McEntee “let my brother die” and “needs to know what it feels like to die.” Johnson returned to the gunshot scene and discovered McEntee alive, kneeling beside the patrol car, despite her protests. Johnson shot McEntee in the back and the head, killing him. After Tuesday’s execution, Mary McEntee said Johnson was “judge, juror, and executioner” in her husband’s death.

“Bill was slain on his hands and knees in front of strangers, the people he dedicated his life to,” Mary McEntee said. Johnson’s attorneys have sought the courts to intervene for various grounds, including a history of mental illness and his age – 19 — at the time of the crime. Courts have gradually moved away from sentencing minor criminals to death since the Supreme Court in 2005 barred the execution of offenders who were younger than 18 at the time of their offense.

But a larger concentration of appeals alleging racial prejudice. Judge Mary Elizabeth Ott appointed a special prosecutor in October. This month, special prosecutor E.E. Keenan submitted a request to invalidate the death sentence, claiming race was a “decisive element.”

Ott refused to stop the execution, and Missouri and U.S. Supreme Court appeals were denied. Keenan’s court petition stated former St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s office handled five cases involving the deaths of police officers during his 28 years in office. McCulloch sought the death sentence in the four instances involving Black defendants but did not pursue execution in the one case where the defendant was white, the file showed.

McCulloch, whose father was a police officer who died in the line of duty, observed the execution. “It’s been long delayed, but justice has been served,” McCulloch said. Khorry Ramey, Johnson’s 19-year-old daughter, wanted to see the execution, but state law bans under-21s from doing so. Courts declined to intervene on Ramey’s behalf. Ramey was allowed to speak with her father hours before the execution, said Karen Pojmann, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections.

The U.S. had 98 executions in 1999 but the number declined drastically in the following years. Missouri already has two slated for early 2023. Convicted killer Scott McLaughlin is due to die on Jan. 3, while convicted killer Leonard Taylor’s execution is set for Feb. 7.

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