A CONVICTED killer who beat a 6-year-old girl to death more than 20 years ago has been executed.
Johnny Johnson, 45, was killed by lethal injection in a Missouri prison Tuesday night.
In July 2002, he beat Casey Williamson to death with a rock in an abandoned glass factory in Valley Park, a suburb about 20 miles west of St. Louis. The Associated Press reported.
Johnson initially tried to sexually assault the six-year-old, but decided to murder Williamson after she started screaming.
He then washed off the blood in a nearby stream.
Correctional officials have released a brief note Johnson wrote before his death.
“God bless you. I’m sorry for the people and family I hurt,” he said.
Johnson suffered from schizophrenia and believed the devil was using his death to bring about the end of the world.
He was executed after the US Supreme Court denied a request by Johnson’s lawyers to stay the execution.
They argued that because of his mental illness, Johnson could not understand the connection between his crime and the punishment.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor and two other members of the court disagreed.
“The court today is paving the way for the execution of a man with a proven mental illness before any court makes any meaningful determination as to his fitness for execution,” they say wrote.
“There is no moral victory in executing someone who believes Satan is killing them to bring about the end of the world.”
But police, prosecutors and Casey’s family believe the execution was fair.
“He did a terrible thing. He took the life of a completely innocent child and there must be consequences,” Casey’s great-aunt Della Steele said.
The girl’s disappearance sparked a massive search operation in Valley Park.
Johnson, the brother of a childhood friend of Casey’s mother, lured the girl into the glass factory while she was still in her nightgown.
The family had let Johnson stay on their couch after a barbecue the night before.