Johnson gets his wish: death

Published 8:04 am Monday, February 26, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
An Atmore man who was convicted of killing his six-month-old son was granted his wish Wednesday when he was sentenced to death.
Circuit Judge Bradley Byrne sentenced Christopher Johnson, of Atmore, to death, as recommended by the jury following the completion of a December trial.
Johnson said he didn't understand why there were questions regarding the penalty in the case.
Byrne, who admitted struggling over the evidence and decisions to be made in the case, told Johnson that a debate in the penalty was not in question.
Byrne said the court's requirement is to accept any evidence presented at face value.
Byrne said, after his consideration in the case, the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigation circumstances.
Johnson was turned over to the Alabama Department of Corrections for the implementation of the sentence. Authorities said an automatic appeal would be presented by the Alabama Criminal Appeals department. If the defendant chooses not to pursue additional appeals, the death sentenced would be carried out by the State of Alabama Department of Corrections.
Johnson, during the time leading up to his court appearance Wednesday, had refused to bathe, Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said after the sentencing hearing.
Johnson was taken to the courthouse in a wheelchair Thursday.