UNITED STATES NEWS

A Florida death row inmate convicted of killing a deputy and 2 others dies in prison, officials say

Oct 2, 2023, 5:32 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida death row inmate convicted of killing a deputy and two other people more than 40 years ago has died in prison, officials said.

Paul Beasley Johnson, 74, died Saturday while receiving ongoing medical treatment while in the custody of the Union County Correctional Institution in north Florida, a Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release said. Officials didn’t provide details about Johnson’s illness.

“Three innocent people were violently and viciously murdered that night in 1981 during an all-night meth-induced crime spree, and I personally lost a good friend in Deputy Theron Burnham,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “Johnson was captured by SWAT during a manhunt, and I had the pleasure of being one of two deputies to take him to jail.”

Johnson was convicted in 1981 of three counts of first-degree murder and several other charges. In January of that year, Johnson shot and killed cabdriver William Evans and then set the victim’s vehicle on fire, officials said. Johnson then got a ride with a man and woman but fatally shot the man, Ray Beasley, while the woman fled to call for help. Burnham responded to the area and was shot during a confrontation with Johnson, authorities said.

“I am glad he (Johnson) hasn’t enjoyed a day of freedom since then, but the truth is, he should have been executed by the State a long time ago.” Judd said. “Ultimately though, there is one final judgement he has to face — and based on the kind of person he was, I doubt that goes well for him.”

United States News

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June. Officials for the com...

Associated Press

Boeing’s 1st astronaut flight now set for June after a review of small leak on new capsule

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch in early June, after spending weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule.

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit filed in the death of dancer with a peanut allergy who died after eating mislabeled cookie

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The estate of a young dancer who died after eating a mislabeled cookie containing peanuts has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the failure to properly label the package was grossly negligent. Órla Ruth Baxendale, 25, died Jan. 11 after eating a Florentine cookie sold by grocery retailer Stew Leonard’s and […]

13 hours ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Lara Trump touts RNC changes and a 2024 presidential victory for Trump in North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — To a room full of Republicans from across North Carolina on Friday, former President Donald Trump railed against the Biden administration and vowed to win in the state for a third time — all over a speaker phone call after his son Eric Trump dialed him on stage. “I just want […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Nevada voter ID initiative can appear on 2024 ballot with enough signatures, state high court says

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — An initiative that would amend the Nevada Constitution to require that voters show photo identification at the polls can appear on the 2024 ballot as long as organizers collect enough signatures, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday. Organizers must gather just over 100,000 valid signatures by June 26 for it to […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Florida priest accused of biting woman who grabbed Holy Communion wafers during Mass

ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) — The Diocese of Orlando is defending a Catholic priest accused of biting a woman who tried to grab Holy Communion wafers during Mass at a central Florida church. The confrontation occurred Sunday afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Police have forwarded a report to prosecutors accusing […]

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

A Florida death row inmate convicted of killing a deputy and 2 others dies in prison, officials say