Johnson receives death penalty for sons murder
Published 2:11 pm Monday, December 28, 2009
By By Adam Prestridge
special to the standard
During his trial in 2006, convicted baby killer, Christopher Thomas Johnson, told an Escambia County jury that he deserved to die for intentionally beating his infant son to death.
Johnson, who testified that he killed his six-month-old son, Elias Ocean Johnson, because he hated his wife, was later convicted on capital murder charges.
Dana Johnson, the mother of the child and Johnson’s wife at the time of the incident, testified that she had seen Johnson putting pressure on the child at their home.
The jury recommended the death penalty and the judge agreed.
Last Friday, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals issued a unanimous decision upholding the capital murder conviction and death sentence of the former Atmore resident.
Johnson, who served as his own attorney after firing his attorneys during the trial, refused to appeal his conviction, but the Court of Criminal Appeals was required by Alabama law to review the case. The court ruled that Johnson was competent during his trial and was aware of his actions.
Johnson fired public defender Todd Stearns and co-counsel Charles Johns, at the end of the trial as the two was preparing closing arguments.
Although an immediate appeal is typical when guilty verdicts are returned in capital murder cases, Johnson made it a point twice during the closing of the trial that he did not wish the case to be appealed.
Johnson also addressed the jury prior to the penalty phase of the case.
Johnson, 36, currently sits on death row at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.