Gov. Parson says Kevin Johnson execution will go as planned; more people asking for clemency

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) - For more than a decade, Kevin Johnson has sat on death row for killing Kirkwood Police Sgt. William McEntee.

As more people ask for clemency in Johnson’s case, Governor Parson tells News 4 the execution will continue as planned.

Johnson is facing execution by lethal injection for killing Sgt. McEntee in July of 2005.

Rachel Jenness was Johnson’s kindergarten and first-grade teacher.

“I’m not opposed to the death penalty but I am absolutely 100% opposed to Kevin Johnson being executed,” Jenness said.

Jenness said they’ve kept in touch for years, forging a close bond.

“He’s been looking death in the face for months now with the date pending,” Jenness said. “He told me the other day he doesn’t really like to sleep because sleep makes him feel like he’s missing out on part of his life.”

Johnson said he has changed while behind bars. Jenness tells News 4 he is a devoted family man and admits his guilt in killing Sgt. McEntee, but has turned his life around.

Many are asking Governor Mike Parson to grant clemency, where Johnson would spend the rest of his life in prison.

Governor Parson tells News 4 as far as his office is concerned, this case will continue as planned.

“You got a guy who went over there cold blooded killed a police officer by two shots in the head after he shot him multiple times,” Governor Parson said. “It’s a pretty vicious crime. Sometimes you have to answer the consequences to that.”

Protestors gathered outside of the event Governor Parson spoke at in Chesterfield on Wednesday.

Activist Marilyn Aleem is one of those asking for his office to grant clemency.

“This is actually a state-sanctioned murder that we are paying for as taxpayers and that’s not good,” Aleem said. “It needs to end here in Missouri.”

Aleem has a message for Governor Parson.

“The great state of Missouri, like he always said,” Aleem said. “Please grant clemency for him. You’re a Christian. You’re a good man. You’re the governor of Missouri and we need this clemency now for KJ and his family.”

Johnson’s execution is set for Tuesday, Nov. 29.