Ala. man executed for 6-month-old son's slaying
Friday, October 21, 2011
ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man who testified that he killed his infant son at his family's home because he hated his wife was executed at a prison in the same community Thursday, declaring as his only last words: "Game over."
Christopher T. Johnson, 38, was administered a lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. CDT Thursday at Holman prison in Atmore, authorities said. Johnson had filed court papers in May saying he didn't want anyone to try to block the execution, and authorities said he had made no 11th-hour attempt to stop it.
Johnson, who represented himself during part of his trial, was convicted in the February 2005 beating and suffocation death of his 6-month-old son, Elias Ocean Johnson. He testified at trial that he hated his wife, the child's mother, and didn't want to be near her. He also testified that he didn't want to worry about his wife's threats of putting him in jail for alimony or child support.
The mother of the slain child, Dana Johnson, now lives in Arizona and didn't attend the execution.
At the prison, Johnson was strapped on a hospital-style gurney before the lethal drugs were administered. His brother, Thomas Eugene Lagos, sat in the front row in the witness room and the two briefly flashed hand signals to each other.
When the warden asked whether he had any last words, Johnson responded: "Game over."
Johnson was seen speaking briefly to a corrections officer before closing eyes and appearing to lose consciousness as the drugs began flowing. His words could not be heard through a transparent partition. He twitched briefly, then lay motionless.
Lagos, after watching the execution, declared to no one in particular with a handful of reporters present: "It's a hard thing to watch. It's not going to change anything. He's been waiting on this for a while."
Johnson was executed not far from where he lived in Atmore, a small community near the Alabama-Florida border about 50 miles northeast of Mobile.
At Johnson's trial, prosecutors presented medical testimony that the baby had numerous injuries and had suffered three hard blows to his forehead.
The court also heard that the infant was found unresponsive on a couch where Johnson had fallen asleep the day the child died, according to authorities. According to court records, Johnson told Atmore police that he had earlier tried to get the baby to stop crying by placing his hand over Elias' mouth and by sticking his fingers down the child's throat.
Johnson spent much of the day Thursday with his brother in a prison visitation area. For a last meal, Johnson requested a turkey bologna sandwich with cheese, and french fries.
Johnson was the sixth person to be executed in Alabama this year.
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