Barring intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court or a federal judge, a convicted murderer from the St. Louis area will be executed this evening at the state’s maximum-security prison in Bonne Terre.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has rejected a clemency request from attorneys for Kevin Johnson, who was convicted of first degree murder for the 2005 death of Kirkwood Police Sergeant William McEntee.
“Mr. Johnson has received every protection afforded by the Missouri and United States Constitutions, and Mr. Johnson’s conviction and sentence remain for his horrendous and callous crime. The state of Missouri will carry out Mr. Johnson’s sentence according to the Court’s order and deliver justice,” Governor Parson says, in a written statement.
The Missouri Supreme Court has denied a motion to stay Kevin Johnson’s execution, in a 5-2 Monday decision.
Johnson’s attorneys don’t deny that he killed Sergeant McEntee, but say he was sentenced to death in part because he’s an African-American. Death penalty opponents had hoped the Missouri Supreme Court would intervene.
Governor Parson describes the murder as heinous, saying McEntee was shot five times before he was able to crawl out of the police vehicle in Kirkwood on his hands and knees. Governor Parson says Johnson then fired two more shots to McEntee’s head.
Johnson will be put to death by lethal injection at the Bonne Terre sometime after 6 pm, unless the U.S. Supreme Court or a federal judge intervene.