A man who killed his wife by shoving a trash bag down her throat and is scheduled to be put to death Thursday has decided to forgo eating his last meal.
Donnie Johnson, 68, who has been on death row now for 34 years, is scheduled to be executed on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in Nashville, Tennessee. He has requested clemency.
He suffocated his wife, Connie Johnson, in 1984 by cramming a 30-gallon trash bag down her throat, according to the Tennessean. He then put her body in a van and left the vehicle in the parking lot of the Mall of Memphis, initially blaming her murder on a work-release inmate who did help Donnie get rid of the body, WREG in Memphis reports. That worker in turn testified against Donnie.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced he will not be stopping Thursday’s scheduled execution. If that is the case, Donnie has decided to opt out of his last chance at a meal and has asked for it to be given to the homeless instead, his public defender Kelley Henry told WSMV in Nashville.
"The decision was inspired by his friend, Philip Workman. Mr. Workman, who was also a Seventh-day Adventist, requested a vegetarian pizza to be delivered to a homeless person in lieu of his last meal,” Henry told the outlet, explaining that particular request was not honored.
“However, benefactors across the country delivered pizzas to homeless shelters in response," Henry continued. "Mr. Johnson realizes that his $20 allotment will not feed many homeless people. His request is that those who have supported him provide a meal to a homeless person."
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination which Donnie reportedly joined behind bars. Its president has urged Gov. Lee to grant Donnie clemency.
The convicted killer, in addition to forgoing his meal, has also asked for forgiveness.
"I truly regret my life and what I became in the process," Donnie wrote in a statement released by Henry. "I am and will continue to carry the pain of all the grief that I have caused others to endure."
He called himself “a monster” at the time of the killing in that statement.
Donnie's son, Jason Johnson, however, claims it’s all an act.
"He is doing anything he can to save his own neck,” Jason told WKRN in Nashville. “It's not about faith. If it was about faith, he would go on and be executed and have his judgement with God, ‘cause that's the only person who can judge him or forgive him.”
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