Donnie Johnson, Tennessee

May 16, 2019

Donnie Edward Johnson was executed by the state of Tennessee on Thursday, May 16, 2019. He was pronounced dead at 7:37 pm CDT, inside the execution chamber at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. Donnie was 68 years of age. He was executed for the murder of his 30-year-old wife, Connie Johson, on December 8, 1984, in Memphis Tennessee. Donnie spent the last 34 years of his life on Tennessee’s death row.

According to Donnie, he grew up in an abusive family and began his criminal career at the age of six or seven, stealing whatever he wanted. By the time he was a teenager, he had resorted to armed robbery. He was also involved in street drag racing. Donnie was married with two children. Donnie continued his criminal life, hiding it from his family, while maintaining a steady job as a salesman at a camping store.

On December 8, 1984, Donnie Johnson was working at Force Camping Sales in Memphis, Tennessee, along with Ronnie McCoy, who was signed out of a Penal Farm, where he was serving a four month sentence for false reporting. Johnson’s wife, Connie arrived at the store at the end of the work day. According to McCoy’s testimony, he left Johnson and Connie alone in the sales office. When he returned, Johnson showed him Connie’s body. Johnson had killed Connie by suffocating her. McCoy then helped dispose of her body.

 

The following day, Johnson recruited his boss to help search for his missing wife. Connie’s body was found inside of her vehicle, with a plastic bag stuffed in her mouth. They only set of keys to the vehicle were discovered in Johnson’s truck, along with several other personal belongings of Connie.

 

Johnson has denied killing his wife, saying he left McCoy and Connie alone in the office and McCoy killed her for the $450 in shopping money he had given her. Initially, Johnson denied any involvement in his wife’s murder, nor did he initially implicate McCoy.

 

Johnson was sentenced to death on November 25, 1985.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Connie Johnson. Please pray for strength for the family of Donnie Johnson.

 

  

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