Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Derrick Johnson

Derrick Johnson
Derrick Johnson
Executed on 30 April 2009

Derrick Lamone Johnson, 28, was executed by lethal injection on 30 April 2009 in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery, rape, and murder of a 25-year-old woman.

On 21 January 1999, Johnson, then 18, and Marcus Maxwell, 15, abducted LaTausha Curry, 25, while she was making a call at a pay phone in Dallas. The men robbed her of ten dollars and abducted her in her own car. They then raped her, beat her with a two-by-four board, and suffocated her with her own blouse. They then stole her car, a red 1987 Ford Taurus.

Later that evening, around midnight, Johnson and Maxwell drove Curry's Taurus to a gas station. There, they pointed a gun at Stella Wilson and demanded her purse, which she gave them.

In the early morning hours of 22 January, Tanya Robinson was driving home from work when Johnson and Maxwell began chasing her and hitting her car while both of their vehicles were traveling at about 75 miles per hour. Robinson stopped her car, then when Johnson got out of his, Robinson put her car in reverse and tried to run over him. Robinson then drove back to the fast-food restaurant where she worked and asked an employee to call the police. Robinson then followed her attackers until the police could join her in the chase. The police forced the Taurus driven by Johnson off the road, and he and his accomplice then fled on foot.

Johnson's fingerprints were found in Curry's car. He was arrested four days later at his mother's apartment. Police found bags of cocaine inside a hollowed-out pager he was carrying. Johnson confessed that he and Maxwell raped and murdered LaTausha Curry. He also told police where to find Curry's body. DNA recovered from seminal fluid found on the victim's clothing was matched to Johnson.

At his trial, Stella Wilson identified Johnson as man who robbed her at the gas station. She also identified him as the driver of the victim's red Ford Taurus. Tanya Robinson also identified the car used in the attack on her.

The only defense witness at Johnson's trial was his mother, who testified that family members raised her son after she was sent to prison with a 15-year drug sentence.

Johnson had a prior felony conviction for robbery. He served less than 5 months of a 10-year prison sentence before being released on shock probation in May 1998. Testimony at his punishment hearing also indicated that a week before Curry's murder, Johnson and Maxwell abducted, raped, and attempted to strangle Renee Williams.

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