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A jury convicted Johnson of capital murder and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in December 1992. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Terry Del Johnson accepted a conviction of murder and sentence of 99 years in prison in exchange for his testimony. He remains in custody as of this writing.
In an interview with the Associated Press the week before Johnson's execution, Shannon Ferguson said she's always "felt kind of responsible" for the two victim's deaths, since they wouldn't have come out to investigate the burglary if she hadn't called. But, she also said that if she hadn't done anything, "I think they probably would have gone on and murdered more people."
Johnson's execution was attended by his daughter, a brother and sister-in-law, and friends. In the other witness chamber, reserved for family and friends of the victim, was James Hazelton's brother, George. When the warden asked Johnson if he wanted to make a final statement, he declined, saying only "Just tell my family goodbye." He then continued speaking, however, urging his relatives, "you tell the rest of them what they did was wrong for letting me take the fall for what they did. I never done anything in my life to anybody." The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 13 January 2010.
Sources: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Associated Press, Huntsville Item.