Gov. Mike Parson says the scheduled execution of Johnny Johnson can proceed. Johnson, 45, asked the governor to spare his life and block this week’s scheduled execution of the convicted killer.

“Johnny Johnson’s crime is one of the most horrific murders that has come across my desk,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a news release. “Casey was an innocent young girl who bravely fought Johnson until he took her life. My office has received countless letters in the last few weeks seeking justice for Casey. Although this won’t bring her back, we hope that carrying out Johnson’s sentence according to the Court’s order may provide some closure for Casey’s loved ones.”

Johnson killed Casey Williamson in 2002 in the St. Louis County town of Valley Park. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection sometime during a 24-hour period as early as 6 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre.

“Johnson kidnapped six-year-old Casey Williamson, who would have turned 28 this November, then brutally murdered her at an abandoned factory. Casey defended herself against Johnson as he tried to rape her. She courageously fought for her life while Johnson repeatedly struck her head with a brick until finally crushing her skull with a ‘basketball-sized boulder.’ Courts found that Johnson was competent at the time and is competent now. By his own admission, Johnson understands that he is going to be executed because of his crime,” Parson’s news release said.

Johnson’s attorneys argue that executing the man would violate the U.S. Constitution. They say Johnson suffers from schizophrenia, making him mentally incompetent to be executed.

The Missouri Supreme Court and a federal appeals court have already denied similar requests from Johnson.

The man’s attorneys are awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on a request made with the high court to intervene.

Missourinet is set to serve as a state witness for the scheduled execution.

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