Execution set for disturbed murderer who killed 6-year-old girl

The Missouri Supreme Court has scheduled an execution for a man found guilty of the murder of a 7-year-old girl in the St. Louis area two decades ago. Johnny Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder and other criminal charges in connection with the death of Cassandra “Casey” Williamson in July 2002. In response to a motion filed by the State of Missouri last year, the court has ordered the execution to take place at 6 p.m. on August 1, 2023.

The Missouri Department of Corrections director will oversee and direct the execution process. Johnson was sentenced to death in 2005 for the murder conviction and received consecutive life sentences for other crimes, including armed criminal action, kidnapping, and attempted forcible rape. Despite a 2012 attempt to overturn the sentence, Johnson remains on death row at the Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point, Missouri.

The case dates back to July 25, 2002, when Casey and her family were staying at a friend’s house across the street from their own residence. Johnson, who was known to the family, also spent the night at the same house. The following morning, Casey’s father, Ernie Williamson, saw his daughter in the living room with Johnson. Upon returning from the restroom, Ernie found that both Casey and Johnson had disappeared.

After Casey was reported missing, two county police officers found Johnson walking down the street near the home where everyone had been staying. He was taken into custody as the search for Casey continued. Volunteers later discovered Casey’s body in a pit at the former St. Louis Plate Glass Company site, less than a mile from her home.

So far in 2023, Missouri has executed two individuals: Amber McLaughlin on January 3 and Leonard Taylor on February 7.