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Johnson's Family Asks For Death Penalty

October 26, 2011, 12:33 PM by Andrea Leesch
Updated: October 26, 2011, 3:41 PM

Johnson's Family Asks For Death Penalty
Eric Robert

SIOUX FALLS, SD - The sentencing hearing of Eric Robert has resumed following emotional testimony from the family of the correction officer Robert admits to killing.

Earlier in the day, the wife, daughter and son of murder victim and South Dakota Correctional Officer Ron Johnson gave tearful testimony. The family asked the judge to give Robert the death penalty.

Johnson’s son, Jesse, shared photos and memories and said his father was his best friend. He says his dad was the most selfless man he knew. Ron Johnson had told him once that he didn’t want to die at an early age because he didn’t want family and friends to be torn apart.

Johnson’s daughter, Missy Schafer, says she doesn’t know how to answer her three children when they ask where their grandfather is or what happened to him. She was working as a nurse the day of the assault and greeted her father at the ER when emergency crews brought him in. She grabbed his head, not knowing what had happened, and told him he would be okay.

Johnson’s wife, Lynette, was the last to take the stand and testified for nearly an hour. The couple was together for 34 years and married for 31 years. She says they only spent six nights apart before his death. She recalled spending time together with family friends and how her husband was so proud of their children. She says Ron Johnson wore a family ring that he never took off, but that it was taken off him the day he was assaulted. Their son now wears the ring.

When asked how Robert should be punished, Lynette Johnson became very emotional while directly addressing Robert, calling him a coward. She asked the judge to be consistent in his sentencing.

Court is in recess until 2:50 p.m.  When it resumes, you can watch it live on the Live Video page

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