Baby killer set to die

Published 3:30 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A man who begged for death after admitting to killing his 6-month-old son will get his wish Thursday evening.
Christopher Thomas Johnson is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday at Holman Prison in Atmore. He was convicted in 2006 of beating to death his 6-month-old son, Elias Ocean Johnson.
During Johnson’s trial he chose to fire his public defenders and represent himself during the last day of the trial. He contended that they did not tell him he could be convicted of manslaughter — he wanted to be executed instead.
After taking the stand on the final day, Johnson confessed to the crime that left the infant boy dead.
Before Johnson’s testimony, a forensic pathologist testified that Elias died of blunt force trauma, and that the baby had at least 85 injuries. She also said the child had blood in its stomach and lungs.
Johnson testified that he killed his son because he hated his wife, Dana Johnson. After a 15-minute confession, Johnson was convicted on capital murder charges by the jury. Following the conviction, Johnson told the judge and jury that he wanted to die.
After the jury recommended the death sentence, the judge agreed to their recommendation and sentenced Johnson to death.
During his time in prison, Johnson refused to appeal his conviction. The case has been reviewed by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, which upheld the court’s decision by vote of 5-0.
Inmates typically have the right to appeal death sentences until the hour of the execution. However, Brian Corbett with the Alabama Department of Corrections said if Johnson has missed necessary deadlines in the appeals process, last-minute appeals would not be possible.
Corbett said Johnson will spend the next two days at Holman Prison with extended visiting privileges until Thursday.
“Generally speaking, he has the opportunity for extended visitation from around 9 a.m. until about 4 p.m.,” Corbett said. “Then he will be moved back into a cell adjacent to the lethal injection chamber.”