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Missouri executes man who murdered police officer in 2005

Death Penalty Problems Explainer
Posted at 10:21 AM, Nov 30, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With his final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court denied, the State of Missouri on Tuesday executed a man who murdered a Kirkwood police officer in 2005.

The Associated Press reported that Kevin Johnson, 37, died at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre by way of lethal ejection.

According to the news outlet, Tuesday's execution marked the state's second execution this year and the nation's 17th.

A jury convicted Johnson for shooting and killing William McEntee on the night of July 5, 2005.

The Associated Press reported that McEntee was among the officers who were sent to Johnson's house that day to serve the then-19-year-old a warrant.

When officers arrived at his residence, Johnson told his 12-year-old brother, who suffered from a congenital heart defect, to run next door, but once he got to the home, however, the child collapsed and began seizing, the news outlet reported.

During his trial, Johnson testified McEntee wouldn't let his mother enter the home to aid the child, who later died at a hospital, the Associated Press reported.

According to court documents, later that same day, McEntee was dispatched to the same neighborhood for an unrelated call about fireworks going off, and as he sat in his vehicle questioning three children, Johnson shot the officer’s leg, head and torso through the open passenger-side window, the news outlet reported.

Court documents said Johnson later returned to the shooting scene, where he found McEntee on his knees alive, the AP reported.

According to the court records, the news outlet reported that McEntee was killed when Johnson shot him in the back and the head.

Late Monday night, the Missouri Supreme Court denied a motion from Johnson's legal team aiming to block the execution.

Johnson's team argued that Johnson got the death penalty because he was Black, among other things.

On Tuesday afternoon, Johnson's lawyers filed another emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court attempting to block the execution.

Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson were the two justices who would've favored blocking the execution.

Late Tuesday evening, SCOTUS denied the motion, allowing Missouri to execute Johnson.

David Medina at KSHB first reported this story.