Thursday, September 15, 2005

August 31, 2005

Johnston called his wife a "whore" and indicated he had grown tired of her infidelities..,

Last Meal:
Fried chicken, catfish, fries, cole slaw, apple pie and Dr. Pepper.

The skinny:
Timothy Johnston, 44, was executed for the beating murder of his 27-year-old wife in front of her 11-year-old son in 1989.

More skinny: Police and paramedics responded to a 911 call from the home of Timothy Johnston. Johnston directed them to "hurry up, inside. She is in here. She needs help." The sidewalk and porch were bloody.

Inside, his wife was lying on the floor with her otherwise nude upper body draped with a shirt, her face and torso swollen and bloody. Paramedics declared her dead at the scene.

When informed that his wife was dead, Johnston flew into a rage and ordered the officers and paramedics to leave and screamed that he knew a motorcycle gang that wanted "to get back at him" had killed his wife. The police officers, now at a murder scene, did not leave.

Johnston initially denied involvement then said members of a rival motorcycle gang had dumped his wife's badly-beaten body on the driveway. The detective told Johnston eyewitness accounts differed substantially from his story. Johnston called his wife a "whore" and indicated he had grown tired of her infidelities. He confessed that he argued with her, shot the house and television with a pistol, kicked in the windshield of the car that she tried to drive away, and when she tried to run, chased her and resumed hitting and kicking her. A neighbor and Johnston's stepson confirmed parts of the confession.

Last words and such: "I hope Nancy's mom forgives me. I hope everyone I've ever hurt forgives me. I'm ready to go to heaven. I hope you can forgive yourselves."

Moments before the first drug was administered, Johnston rolled his head back and forth and appeared to grimace. But he stopped moving once the drug appeared to take effect.

Factoids: Johnston was the...

37th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005

981st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
4th murderer executed in Missouri in 2005
65th murderer executed in Missouri since 1976

All but one of the others were carried out at the Potosi Correctional Center, where condemned men are confined among general inmate population.

The Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation held a vigil at the Boone County Courthouse and a prayer service at St. Thomas More Newman Center to protest the execution. At least seven vigils were held across Missouri, including one across the street from the Missouri Supreme Court in Jefferson City, said Jeff Stack, Fellowship of Reconciliation coordinator. According to its Web site, the fellowship is “a pacifist group committed to active nonviolence as a means of personal, social, and political change.” Stack said he and other supporters came to let the public know that not all Missourians support the death penalty.

There are now 54 inmates awaiting execution on Missouri’s death row.

Missouri is one of 27 states that carry out executions by administering a series of three drugs intravenously in rapid succession. (All told, 37 states have the death penalty.) The procedure begins with a heavy sedative to render the condemned unconscious, followed by a drug to end breathing and another to stop the heart. The sedative, sodium pentothal, renders the condemned motionless within seconds. Death usually is pronounced within four minutes.