Sunday, June 15, 2003

June 11, 2003

A very candid camera...

Last Meal: Johnson was served his last meal, a fried feast. He requested four chicken breasts, shrimp and catfish — all fried — accompanied by french fries, onion rings, a double cheeseburger with grilled onions and a glass of strawberry juice, followed by pecan pie.

The skinny: Johnson was executed for gunning down a convenience store manager during a robbery that netted $23. The killing was captured by a surveillance camera in the store. Despite the videotape. Johnson maintained his innocence.

``I told them that they had the wrong person and that I did not kill anybody,'' Johnson said on a Web site devoted to his case.

Priors: Johnson, a high school graduate who worked as a cook, had a juvenile record that included seven arrests. As an adult, he was arrested four more times and was convicted of burglary twice.

Prosecution: "In the 12 years that I've been here in Bexar County, I've only had two capital murders captured on video tape," says prosecutor Michael Cohen.

The surveillance video would be Kia Johnson's undoing. Several news stations ran the tape, tipsters called in, and 18 hours after the murder Kia Johnson was found with crack.

Legal Machinations: Johnson's lawyers contended he was mentally retarded. But lower courts rejected his appeals, and late Wednesday afternoon the U.S. Supreme Court, which has barred execution of the mentally retarded, refused to delay the execution.

Last Words and such: Johnson directed his final words to his brother, watching through a window a few feet away. He never looked through another window, where victim's family sat. ``Tell mama I love her,'' Johnson said. ``Tell the kids I love them too. See y'all.''

Factoids: Johnson was the 16th inmate executed in Texas this year. He's the first of 10 set to die over the next two months.

The drugs used to execute condemned killer Kia Levoy Johnson of San Antonio yesterday cost $86.

That's almost four times more than the $23 he got after gunning down the night manager.