The execution of a 45-year-old Missouri man suffering from schizophrenia has been rescheduled after an appellate court changed its decision on Saturday.
Johnny Johnson is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre on Tuesday for the 2002 murder of Casey Williamson, who was six years old at the time.
The execution was postponed last Tuesday by a divided three-judge panel of the 8th US Circuit Court due to concerns about his mental fitness. However, after the Missouri Attorney General’s Office petitioned the whole court to review, the decision was overturned in a 7-3 vote.
The case will almost certainly find up before the United States Supreme Court before the planned execution date.
According to Johnny Johnson’s attorneys, his schizophrenia prohibits him from grasping the connection between his offense and the sentence. They further claim Johnny Johnson believes the devil will use his death to bring about the end of the world.
In June, the Missouri Supreme Court denied a stay of execution based on a mental health allegation. The attorney general’s office questioned the reliability of Johnny Johnson’s psychiatric evaluations, claiming that medical documents show he is able to manage his mental illness with medicine.
Johnny Johnson enticed the girl to an abandoned glass plant, carrying her on his shoulders on the route there. Casey screamed and fought to break free when he attempted to sexually abuse her. Johnny Johnson murdered her with bricks and rocks before drowning in the Meramec River. Johnny Johnson admitted to the crimes.
Casey’s disappearance triggered a frenzied search by first responders and volunteers. Her body was discovered buried beneath rocks and dirt in a pit less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from her home.
Johnny Johnson’s execution would be Missouri’s fourth this year.