Re-posted from Fox 2 New/Jeff Bernthal, Kevin S. Held, Emily Manley
BONNE TERRE, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Corrections successfully carried out its execution of Kevin Johnson early Tuesday evening.
The execution was carried out at 7:40 p.m. at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Johnson, 37, died via lethal injection. Prior to his execution, he made no final statement.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued the following statement after Johnson’s death:
“Today, the State of Missouri carried out Kevin Johnson’s sentence as ordered by the Missouri Supreme Court. Mr. Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2005 murder of Sgt. Bill McEntee. Mr. Johnson’s claims were reviewed by state and federal courts, and no court reversed his conviction or sentence. We hope that this will bring some closure to Sgt. McEntee’s loved ones who continue to anguish without him.” GOV. MIKE PARSON
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal for a stay of execution around 6:30 p.m. In the order, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said they would have granted the stay.
Johnson was sentenced to death on Feb. 1, 2008, for the murder of Kirkwood Police Sergeant William McEntee.
In emails sent to The Kansas City Star in the days leading up to his execution, Johnson said he was “unconditionally sorry” for his crimes.
Johnson, then 19, killed McEntee during a fit of rage on July 5, 2005, over his younger brother’s death, which he blamed on police.
According to court documents, McEntee was one of the police officers sent to Johnson’s house to serve a warrant for his arrest. Johnson was on probation for assaulting his girlfriend, and police believed he violated probation. After waking his 12-year-old brother, Joseph “Bam Bam” Long, the boy ran to his grandmother’s house next door, where he began having a seizure and collapsed.
During the subsequent trials, Johnson testified that McEntee kept his mother from entering the house to help his brother. Bam Bam died later at the hospital.
Later that night, McEntee returned to Kirkwood’s Meacham Park neighborhood to check on a report of fireworks. Johnson approached McEntee while he was seated in his police vehicle and shot him multiple times. He returned a short time later and shot Sgt. McEntee twice more after McEntee had pulled himself from the car and was on his hands and knees.