The close friend of a cop killer on death row in Missouri, Sparkle Haney, 41, has said that his daughter 'lost her mom at a young age' and is now 'about to lose him,' as a federal judge rejects her bid to attend his execution next week


The close friend of a cop killer on death row in Missouri has said that his daughter ‘lost her mom at a young age’ and is now ‘about to lose him,’ as a federal judge rejects her bid to attend his execution next week.

Kevin Johnson, 37, was sentenced to death for killing a cop in St. Louis in 2005 and is due to be executed on November 29. He fatally shot Missouri police officer William McEntee in a fit of rage after the death of his 12-year-old brother.

Just one year later, Sparkle Haney, 41, said she started a friendship with the death row inmate while working as a correctional officer at the county jail in 2006.

‘He was placed in what we call the ‘hole’ which is lockdown in administrative segregation,’ she told Dailymail.com.

‘He spent most of his time in the cell so I would talk to him, I would ask him how was he doing? That’s essentially how we started communicating.’

Earlier this week, Johnson’s 19-year-old daughter, Coionsa ‘Khorry’ Ramey, made an appeal to the federal court in Kansas City hoping to be present for the execution of her father who she described was the ‘most important person in her life’. 

The close friend of a cop killer on death row in Missouri, Sparkle Haney, 41, has said that his daughter ‘lost her mom at a young age’ and is now ‘about to lose him,’ as a federal judge rejects her bid to attend his execution next week

Corionsa 'Khorry' Ramey (left), 19, introduced her newborn son to her father Johnson (right) in prison last month, the two have remained close while he has been incarcerated

Corionsa ‘Khorry’ Ramey (left), 19, introduced her newborn son to her father Johnson (right) in prison last month, the two have remained close while he has been incarcerated

Ramey (right) has appealed to a federal court in Kansas City for permission to view the execution of her father Johnson (left) by lethal injection, but was rejected by a federal judge

Ramey (right) has appealed to a federal court in Kansas City for permission to view the execution of her father Johnson (left) by lethal injection, but was rejected by a federal judge

When Johnson went to prison Ramey was two and living with her mother. In 2007, Ramey was 4 years old when her mother was murdered in front of her by her ex-boyfriend.

In an affidavit submitted to the court on Monday Ramey states that not only did she lose her father to prison at the age of two, she also witnessed the murder of her mother just two years later, aged four.

Haney, who no longer works in corrections, said that Johnson and his daughter were extremely close.

‘They speak daily and he’s never missed a beat,’ she said.

‘He’s has always been in contact with her teachers, always been in contact with her social workers.

‘He’s done all of that through the years. He’s not missing anything going on in her life.’

Despite seeing her mother murdered, Ramey has been desperate to see her father in his final hours in the state mandated execution next week.

But the law prohibits people under the age of 21 to attend.

U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes said he doesn’t discount Ramey’s allegations that not being able to attend the execution would cause emotional harm, but he argued that the state’s law does not violate her rights, Fox4kc reported.

‘She wanted to be present because I mean, she feels like that’s, that’s all she has,’ explained Haney.

‘She has nobody else, I guess she just wants to be there just to see. She lost her mom at a very young age and she’s only had her dad all these years and she’s probably about to lose him.’

ACLU attorney Anthony Rothert said if Ramey (pictured) is prevented from attending the execution it will cause her 'irreparable harm'

ACLU attorney Anthony Rothert said if Ramey (pictured) is prevented from attending the execution it will cause her ‘irreparable harm’

Ramey, 19, was two when her father was imprisoned for the fatal shooting and at the age of four witnessed her mother being murdered by an ex-boyfriend

Ramey, 19, was two when her father was imprisoned for the fatal shooting and at the age of four witnessed her mother being murdered by an ex-boyfriend

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency motion arguing that laws prohibiting people under 21 from watching executions not only serve no purpose but also violate constitutional rights.

‘If my father were dying in the hospital, I would sit by his bed holding his hand and praying for him until his death, both as a source of support for him, and as a support for me as a necessary part of my grieving process and for my peace of mind,’ Ramey said in a court document. 

Kevin Johnson faces execution on November 29 for killing Kirkwood police officer McEntee in 2005.

McEntee, a husband and father of three, was sent to Johnson’s home on July 5, 2005, to serve a warrant for his arrest. Johnson was on probation for assaulting his girlfriend and police believed he had violated his probation.

Johnson saw officers arrive and awoke his 12-year-old brother, Joseph ‘Bam Bam’ Long, who ran next door to their grandmother’s house.

Kevin Johnson faces execution November 29 for killing Kirkwood police officer McEntee in 2005

Kevin Johnson faces execution November 29 for killing Kirkwood police officer McEntee in 2005

Missouri police officer William McEntee was fatally shot by Kevin Johnson in 2005

Missouri police officer William McEntee was fatally shot by Kevin Johnson in 2005

Johnson seen here at the Clayton Courthouse in April 2007 moments after the jury in his trial were unable to reach a unanimous decision, resulting in a mistrial, has made a last ditch attempt to stay the execution on Monday

Johnson seen here at the Clayton Courthouse in April 2007 moments after the jury in his trial were unable to reach a unanimous decision, resulting in a mistrial, has made a last ditch attempt to stay the execution on Monday

At her house, the boy suffered from a congenital heart defect causing him to have a seizure and die shortly after in hospital.

Haney said in her long discussions with Johnson about the aftermath of the event that he had wished he had handled things differently. 

‘He didn’t mean to destroy a family because anytime death comes it destroys a family and he recognizes that and he knows that, he lost his brother that night,’ she said. 

‘I think it was kind of a crime of passion, like where you’re just not thinking clearly, you’re not thinking at all.’

Haney goes on to say that when detailing the lead up to McEntee’s murder Johnson had allegedly reacted watching ‘no one come to his brother’s aid.’

‘During the process his brother who had this heart condition passed out and so their grandmother was screaming and he’s having a seizure,’ she said.

‘[Johnson told me] no one aided him, they just stepped over him and he [Johnson] could see them stepping over his brother, while he was dying.

‘I think that if one person stopped and just looked at his brother or did something I think that could have made a big difference.’

Johnson testified at trial that McEntee kept his mother from entering the house to help his dying brother.

Later that evening in 2005, McEntee returned to the neighborhood in response to unrelated reports of fireworks being fired. He then bumped into Johnson.

Johnson pulled a gun and shot McEntee. He then approached the wounded, kneeling officer and shot him again, killing him.

Johnson, now 37, has been incarcerated since Ramey was two. The ACLU said the father and daughter were able to build a bond through visits, phone calls, emails and letters.

Last month, she brought her newborn son to the prison to meet his grandfather.

ACLU attorney Anthony Rothert said if Ramey is prevented from attending the execution it will cause her ‘irreparable harm’. 

An ACLU filing argues that the state law violates Ramey’s right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment and her First Amendment right of association.

Johnson murdered McEntee in a fit of rage hours after the death of his 12-year-old brother, Haney claiming it had been because he watched officers 'step over' his body as he died

 Johnson murdered McEntee in a fit of rage hours after the death of his 12-year-old brother, Haney claiming it had been because he watched officers ‘step over’ his body as he died

Haney said that Ramey (left) and Johnson (right) were able to build a bond with each other through visits, phone calls, emails and letters  (photo taken in prison)

Haney said that Ramey (left) and Johnson (right) were able to build a bond with each other through visits, phone calls, emails and letters  (photo taken in prison)

It says that the 21 age threshold is not reasonable and does not serve any safety purpose.

It also argues that in federal executions and in the overwhelming majority of death penalty states there is no age requirement for family of the sentenced inmate to witness an execution, or the minimum age is 18.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s lawyers have filed different appeals seeking to halt the execution, to be heard in court, just one day before the planned execution.

Haney said that he hopes this last ditch appeal will stay the execution which has been having a severe effect on the 37-year-old’s mental health. 

‘I mean, it’s eating him up on the inside,’ she said. 

‘He’s not sleeping because he feels like if he sleeps then he’s missing out on the final seconds and minutes and hours of his life.’

Although they don’t challenge that he is guilty they claim racism played a role in the jury’s decision to give him the death penalty since McEntee was white.

Johnson’s lawyers also have asked the courts to intervene for other reasons, including a history of mental illness and his age. Johnson was 19 at the time of the killing. 

Johnson waits in the Clayton Courthouse for his trial to begin in March 2007

Johnson waits in the Clayton Courthouse for his trial to begin in March 2007

Johnson's execution would be the first of three in the coming months in Missouri (photo taken in prison)

Johnson’s execution would be the first of three in the coming months in Missouri (photo taken in prison)

Courts have increasingly stopped sentencing teenagers to death since the Supreme Court in 2005 banned the execution of defendants who were younger than 18 at the time of their crime.

In a court filing last week to the US Supreme Court, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office stated there were no grounds for court intervention.

‘The surviving victims of Johnson’s crimes have waited long enough for justice, and every day longer that they must wait is a day they are denied the chance to finally make peace with their loss,’ the state petition said.

Johnson’s execution would be the first of three in the coming months in Missouri. 

The state plans to execute convicted killers Scott McLaughlin on January 3 and Leonard Taylor on February 7.

Sixteen men have been executed in the US this year.

Alabama inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith had been scheduled to die on Thursday for killing a preacher’s wife.

The execution was halted because prison staff couldn’t find a suitable vein to inject the lethal drugs.

On Monday the Alabama governor Kay Ivey paused in executions and ordered a ‘top-to-bottom’ review of the state’s capital punishment system.



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