A Missouri man who murdered a police officer in 2005 has been executed for his crime.
Kevin Johnson, 37, killed Kirkwood Police Sgt. William McEntee when he was called to his neighborhood over a report of fireworks.
“When he arrived at the scene, he began speaking with a 13-year-old boy while still seated in his patrol car,” according to the Officer Down Memorial page. “A subject unrelated to the original call approached the patrol car from the passenger side and opened fire, striking Sergeant McEntee several times. His patrol car then traveled a short distance and crashed into a tree. The subject approached the patrol car again and shot Sergeant McEntee several more times.”
After murdering the officer, Johnson fled the scene and was at large for several days. He was caught after a tipster alerted police.
Johnson had gone to the Supreme Court to request a stay of execution, claiming that “racial discrimination” played a role in his persecution. The request was denied.
Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor dissented and said they would have granted it.
Johnson’s lawyer expressed extreme disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision, claiming his client was only sentenced to death because he is black.
“The Prosecutor in this case had requested that the Court stop the execution based on the compelling evidence he uncovered this past month establishing that Mr. Johnson was sentenced to death because he is Black,” lawyer Shawn Nolan said in a statement. “The Missouri Supreme Court unconscionably refused to simply pause Mr. Johnson’s execution date so that the Prosecutor could present this evidence to the lower court, who refused to consider it in the first instance given the press of time.”
McEntee’s widow said that her husband died on his hands and knees before the people he had sworn to serve, according to reports.
“When he left for work that day, we could not imagine that he would be executed by someone he gave his life to protect,” she said at a media briefing Tuesday evening. “Bill didn’t get to fight for his life. He didn’t have the chance to be heard before a jury, to decide whether he would live or die.”
Johnson was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m. CT.
The killer did not give a final statement before his death.