User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

29° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



 Winter Storm for November 30, 2015

Snow Outlook

Severe Weather

State Radar

Click here for local closings & delays

Send photos to

Storm Center Update



[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Johnson's Widow: Execution Brings Safety

October 15, 2012, 5:53 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Johnson's Widow: Execution Brings Safety

Eric Robert's execution is scheduled for 10 p.m. Monday night, just 18 months after he and inmate Rodney Berget killed Correctional Officer Ron ‘RJ’ Johnson during an escape attempt last year.

And while Robert will be put to death Monday for the crime, the wife of Officer Johnson doesn't want her husband's death to be forgotten.

RJ's wife, Lynette, along with her two children and their spouses plan to witness Robert's execution. And while it will never bring RJ back and, may not even bring complete closure for the family, Lynette says it can bring safety.

Robert's final moments have been meticulously planned and prepared, from his last meal, to the lethal injection, and the cell where he will spend his final days.

And while Lynette, believes Robert's punishment for killing her husband is just, in some respects it doesn't bring complete justice.

"He's going to lay there and from what I'm told take seven to ten minutes. He's just going to lay there and go to sleep. How long was the attack for Ron," Lynette said.

RJ was brutally beaten with a metal pipe by Robert and fellow inmate Rodney Berget. The two then put shrink wrap around his head, all in an attempt to escape.

Lynette believes RJ's fellow correctional officers who went to work in the days, weeks and months following the failed prison break need to be remembered. She hopes Robert's execution will help keep them safe.

"The focus has to stay on keeping our correctional officers throughout the state at all the facilities to keep them safe. My mission is that, that we have to move forward, things have to change," Johnson said.

But correctional officers across the country are remembering RJ too. Lynette just got back from a weekend trip to Las Vegas where RJ was honored and where a correctional officer from Massachusetts who was attacked gave her his personal medal of honor in honor of RJ.

"I know people don't mean to, but we do take for granted our law officers. Everyday they don't know what they're coming into. They don't know what they are going to get into and it's dangerous. Our correctional officers are behind the wall, they look at these people every day," Johnson said.

And while Johnson prepares to watch Robert be executed she says it’s her husband and those officers who need to remain in South Dakota's thoughts and prayers.

"My heart is broken and I'm here for Ron. I'm going to get through this for Ron. We all will," Johnson said.

RJ worked at the penitentiary for 23 years.

Lynette plans to make a statement in the training room at the penitentiary that has since been named in RJ’s honor following the execution.

Previous Story

Next Story





View news

You may also like

Man Killed In Rollover Crash Identified

11/29/2015 1:05 PM

A Mitchell man has been identified as the victim in a rollover crash near Artesian, South Dakota on Friday.

Full Story
Tyrese Ruffin's Mother Speaks Publicly For First Time

11/25/2015 6:18 AM

In her first and only television interview, Doohen talked about her son, who she called the joy of her life.

Full Story
Ghost Town Up For Sale, At Reduced Price

11/30/2015 8:31 AM

Real estate agent Stacie Montgomery said she's put the town back on the market, at a reduced price of $250,000.

Full Story
Police: Newborn Left In Christmas Nativity Manger At Church

11/25/2015 8:48 AM

Authorities are searching for whoever left a newborn baby with the umbilical cord still attached in the Christmas nativity manger at a New York City c...

Full Story
One Killed, One Injured In Two-Vehicle Crash Near Wolsey

11/26/2015 4:29 PM

Authorities say one man was killed and another man was injured when a pickup truck collided with a semi-truck eight miles west of Wolsey.

Full Story