St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Convicted child killer Johnny Johnson and his legal team will present arguments to the Missouri Supreme Court today, in an attempt to overturn his death sentence in the murder of a Valley Park girl.
Johnson was found guilty of taking six year old Casey Williamson from a Valley Park home early on the morning of July 26, 2002 and carrying her to an abandoned glass factory along the banks of the Meramec River where he tried to sexually assault the child, before beating her to death with stones and boulders and then covering her body with brush and walking away.
Police arrested Johnson a short time later after he emerged from the river where police claim he went to wash off physical evidence of the crime.
In his appeal, Johnson and counsel are appealing the conviction and capital punishment on the grounds of ineffective counsel at his previous trial.
Johnson further contends the legal defense did not provide adequate evidence of brain damage and abuse he endured as a child.
Prosecutors argue mental illness and brain damage evidence was presented at trial and is not cause for Johnson's waiving of rights following his arrest. The State also agreed defense counsel used appropriate strategy in choosing not to conduct further evaluation of brain damage when the case went to trial.
A decision may not be made until after the first of the year.