User uShare Login | Register
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.


26° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

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

 

Widow: Execution Will Not Bring RJ Back

August 16, 2012, 5:53 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Widow: Execution Will Not Bring RJ Back
Eric Robert

SIOUX FALLS, SD -

There is nothing standing in the way of Eric Robert and execution.

On Thursday the South Dakota Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of the inmate who killed Correctional Officer Ron 'RJ' Johnson on April 12, 2011 during a failed prison escape.

Robert said he deserved the death penalty during a four-day sentencing hearing in October but the Supreme Court needed to conduct a mandatory review of the case and Robert's request to die was the main focus of Chief Justice David Gilbertson in the opinion he issued.

The South Dakota Supreme Court paid special attention to Robert's request in the unanimous decision because they said if Judge Brad Zell had handed down the sentence based on Robert's desire to die they would have overturned it.

The Supreme Court even appointed a defense attorney from Rapid City to look at the case during their mandatory review since Robert instructed his defense attorney not to fight the sentence.

But the Supreme Court says Judge Zell sought out his own mitigating evidence about Robert and Attorney General Marty Jackley presented enough evidence under state law to show that Robert deserves the death penalty. That's why the sentence Judge Zell handed down in October has now been affirmed in August.

RJ's wife, Lynette Johnson, who asked for the death penalty in this case, told KELOLAND News over the phone on Thursday that this sentence will help protect the public from Robert.

"I am relieved that the correctional officers and the public will be a little bit safer," Lynette Johnson said.

But even though it was the sentence that all sides of the case were asking for, Johnson's widow added that the penalty may bring justice but it "will not bring him [RJ] back to me."

The circuit court will now have to set a date for the execution.

It's unclear at this time when that will happen but it's likely that will happen before the end of the year.

With Donald Moeller's execution now set at the end of October South Dakota could execute two inmates in the same year.

The last time multiple inmates were put to death in the same year was 110 years ago when the state carried out three executions in 1902.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Four Dead In Sisseton Shooting

11/22/2014 7:09 AM

South Dakota authorities are searching for a Sisseton man following a shooting early Saturday morning that left four people dead and another person in...

Full Story
UPDATE: Sisseton Homicide Suspect Found Dead In Home

11/22/2014 10:40 AM

Colter Richard Arbach has been located and identified as one of the four people shot and killed this morning in Sisseston.

Full Story
New Charges Filed Against Faith Rasmussen

11/19/2014 4:59 PM

She's already admitted to running a large marijuana ring, now Faith Rasmussen is accused of arranging a deadly robbery.

Full Story
Sisseton In Shock After Shooting

11/22/2014 5:51 PM

It appears a Sisseton man killed three people and injured a fourth before killing himself early Saturday morning, according to the South Dakota A...

Full Story | Watch
Names Of Sisseton Shooting Victims Released

11/24/2014 10:32 AM

Authorities release the names of the people shot to death and hurt in Sisseton over the weekend.

Full Story


Events