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October execution date now set for convicted triple killer from mid-Missouri

Missouri’s Supreme Court has declined to halt the October scheduled execution of a convicted triple killer from Columbia.

60-year-old Ernest Lee Johnson’s attorneys say his intellectual disability should make him ineligible for the death penalty. Johnson is now set to be executed by lethal injection on October 5 at the state’s maximum-security prison in southeast Missouri’s Bonne Terre.

Boone County prosecutors say Johnson killed three people with a hammer at a now-closed Casey’s convenience store in Columbia, in February 1994.

The three victims were Mary Bratcher, Mable Scruggs and Fred Jones. One of the victims was also shot. The store, which has since been torn down, was located on Ballenger Lane.

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