A Missouri felon, who executed a St. Louis police officer in 2005, was put to death by lethal injection yesterday. Jim Salter of the Associated Press reports that the state Supreme Court had twice denied to stay Kevin Johnson’s execution and the Governor refused to grant him clemency. Johnson was on probation for beating his girlfriend when on July 5 police officers, including Sergent William McEntee, came to his house to investigate the ownership of a vehicle he allegedly posessed. As officers approached the house Johnson told his 12-year-old brother to run next door to his grandmother’s home. Facts presented in the Missouri Supreme Court’s 2013 decision denying habeas corpus relief indicate that once the brother, who had congenital hear disease, got next door he had a seizure and died later in the hospital. While officers attended to the boy and called an ambulance, McEntee kept the grandmother from entering the house. The officers eventually left the neighborhood, but hours later Sergent McEntee returned to investigate a report of illegal fireworks. As he was in his patrol car talking to some teens, Johnson approached saying. “you killed my brother’ and shot McEntee five times.
One of the juveniles was shot in the leg. Johnson then took McEntee’s gun an left. The patrol car rolled a few feet and stopped against another car, and Sergent McEntee, mortally wounded, left the car and fell to his knees. Johnson returned, told bystanders to get out of the way and then shot McEntee twice in the head. As he walked away witnesses testified that they heard him say “that m––– f––– let my brother die, he needs to see what it feels like to die.” Johnson’s conviction and death sentence were upheld by multiple courts on direct appeal and habeas corpus. No court accepted his claims of trial error, diminished capacity, incompetent council, racial bias in the jury selection or his claim that the death penalty was racially biased.
Sergent McEntee left a wife and three children.