St. Louis, MO – A federal judge on Friday denied a request from the 19-year-old daughter of a Missouri death row inmate who wanted permission to watch her cop-killer father’s execution.
Kevin Johnson was convicted of murdering Kirkwood Police Sergeant William McEntee on July 5, 2005, after the officer responded to a 911 call about fireworks being set off inside an apartment building on Alsobrook Street, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).
When Sgt. McEntee arrived at the apartment complex, he started talking to a 13-year-old boy through his car window while still seated behind the wheel of his patrol vehicle.
As the sergeant’s attention was focused on the boy, the then-19-year-old Johnson approached the patrol car from the other side and opened fire on Sgt. McEntee, ODMP reported.
The law enforcement official was shot multiple times.
Sgt. McEntee’s patrol vehicle rolled forward a short distance and crashed into a tree and stopped, ODMP reported.
That was when Johnson approached the wrecked police vehicle and opened fire on the wounded sergeant yet again.
Sgt. McEntee was shot several more times and died, the Associated Press reported.
He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons, according to ODMP.
It turned out that it wasn’t the first encounter that the sergeant had had with the man who killed him on the night of his death, the Associated Press reported.
Sgt. McEntee had been to Johnson’s home earlier in the day with several other officers to serve a warrant for his arrest.
Johnson was out on probation for assaulting his girlfriend and police thought he had violated the terms of his probation and wanted it revoked, the Associated Press reported.
But when Johnson saw police arriving, he woke up his little brother, 12-year-old Joseph “Bam Bam” Long, and the younger sibling ran for their grandmother’s house.
The 12 year old suffered from a congenital heart defect and when Bam Bam Long got to his grandmother’s house, he collapsed and began to seize, the Associated Press reported.
At trial, Johnson testified that he had seen Sgt. McEntee stop his mother from going into his grandmother’s house to help his little brother.
Bam Bam Long died shortly thereafter at a nearby hospital, the Associated Press reported.
When Sgt. McEntee responded to the fireworks call hours later, Johnson ambushed and executed him.
Johnson is scheduled for death by lethal injection in Missouri on Nov. 29 and his attorneys have filed for a stay of execution, the Associated Press reported.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has denied the death-row inmate’s petition for clemency and said the execution will proceed as planned on Tuesday, KMOV reported.
“You got a guy who went over there, cold-blooded killed a police officer by two shots in the head after he shot him multiple times,” Parson said. “It’s a pretty vicious crime. Sometimes you have to answer the consequences to that.”
Shawn Nolan, an attorney for Johnson, took exception to the governor’s response, KMOV reported.
“I was surprised by his remarks,” Nolan said. “I would say the governor should be more concerned about racism in the court system in Missouri. We’re hopeful that maybe he’ll take a second look at it and review all of the information that we put forth in the clemency petition.”
Johnson has also requested that his 19-year-old daughter, Khorry Ramey, be permitted to attend his execution, a move which contradicted state law, KMOV reported.
In Missouri, witnesses to an execution must be at least 21 years of age.
Ramey said her father is the most important person in her life, KMOV reported.
“If my father were dying in the hospital, I would sit by his bed holding his hand and praying for him until his death, both as a source of support for him, and as a support for me as a necessary part of my grieving process and for my peace of mind,” the death-row inmate’s daughter said.
Johnson, now 37, has been in prison since Ramey was two years old and they only know each other through visits, phone calls, letters and emails, KMOV reported.
Ramey brought her newborn son to meet his grandfather behind bars in October.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Anthony Rothert said that stopping Johnson’s daughter from attending his execution would cause Ramey “irreparable harm,” KMOV reported.
But on Nov. 25, a federal court judge denied Ramey’s petition to watch the execution.
The Missouri Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Johnson’s request for a stay of execution, KMOV reported.
If the state’s highest court does not grant the stay, Johnson will be put to death by lethal injection the next day.