Missouri’s latest execution took place as scheduled… but not without some dramatics at the state prison in Bonne Terre.
At 12:07 this morning the state executed Timothy Johnston of St. Louis for the beating and kicking death of his wife Nancy in June of 1989. Johnston’s final appeal that Missouri’s method of execution is cruel and unusual punishment, at first, gained him a stay from a three-judge panel onthe 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the full court later stepped in and the execution was back on schedule.
Johnston seemed intent to prove his defense was true as he writhed on the gurney for what seemed like a minute. But some witnesses thought he was moving before the announcement that the first drug was administered. an observation Correctons Department spokesman John Fougere says his staff saw as well.
Fougere went on to dismiss the possibility that the drugs ending Johnston’s life were administered before the announcement was made. He would not speculate why Johnston was squirming.