The officer who was killed in the failed escape attempt at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in April 2011, Ronald "RJ" Johnson is being remembered today and every day by the people who loved him the most -- his family.
Lynette Johnson will be watching the execution along with her two children and their spouses Monday night. When we asked how she's feeling about tonight's execution she said she's only thinking about Ron.
We sat down with Lynette Johnson as we are now hours from the execution of Eric Robert, the inmate who admitted to killing Lynette's husband.
"The execution is what needs to be to keep our correctional officers safe," Johnson said.
And the execution is set to happen in this room, on this bed at 10 p.m. Monday.
"He gets to lay on a mattress and gets to just go to sleep. That is not what my husband got," Lynette Johnson said.
In a failed escape attempt back in April 2011, Ronald "RJ" Johnson was the correctional officer on duty when Robert and another inmate, Rodney Berget hit Johnson over the head with a lead pipe and put plastic wrap over his face to suffocate him. They also took off his uniform so they could wear it to escape.
"It's like yesterday it happened but it's like years he has been gone," Johnson said.
As you can imagine this has been more than difficult for the Johnson's. Lynette said she heard Robert got to say good-bye to his mother and that doesn't sit well with her.
"What I would give to be able to say one more time how much we love him. To say good-bye again. He got that. He robbed us of that," Johnson said.
As the family will be watching the execution, Lynette says she'll be thinking about Ron -- a family man who was taken way too soon.
"The focus has been on the execution, how he (Robert) lived, who he (Robert) was. Let's think about who he (Robert) terrorized and the lives he destroyed and the reason he is behind bars," Johnson said.
Robert's lawyer sent out a statement over the weekend saying the 50-year-old is reflecting on the situation and "trying to make peace with himself and God."
We asked Lynette about that, she says she doesn't believe a word he (Robert) says.
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises. Some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides inMore >>
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises, some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides in research are happening on South Dakota's fields.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:55:49 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) - A sure sign that spring is on the horizon: daylight saving time has arrived. Most Americans pushed the clock forward by 60 minutes before heading to bed Saturday night, but daylightMore >>
A sure sign that spring is on the horizon: daylight saving time has arrived.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:51 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:51:13 GMT
A Chinese restaurant in Worthington sustained significant damage after a fire broke out, early Saturday morning. The Worthington Fire Department responded to King Wok, formerly known as Michael's Steakhouse,More >>
A Chinese restaurant in Worthington sustained significant damage after a fire broke out, early Saturday morning.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 PM EST2014-03-09 01:17:06 GMT
ST. PAUL — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), St. Paul Field Division Special Agent in Charge Scott D. Sweetow today announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leadingMore >>
There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) responsible for the arson fire to the Colonial Inn Motel, in Yankton.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:05 PM EST2014-03-09 01:05:09 GMT
Despite a warm-up on the way in our forecast, taking a dip into water outside may be the last thing on our minds. In Huron, Saturday, if it was for a good cause, it was hard to say no. More than 200More >>
Brave souls plunged into icy cold water in Huron, Saturday, for a good cause. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:54 PM EST2014-03-08 23:54:51 GMT
The three Americans on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing in Southeast Asia have been identified and include two young children, according to the flight's manifest. ABC News reportsMore >>
Malaysia Airlines previously reported that one of the Americans on board the flight was an infant.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:46 PM EST2014-03-08 23:46:53 GMT
Chances are, those security breaches that affected major retailers are still fresh on our minds. Now, consumers and companies are coming up with new ways to protect themselves online. A cybersecurityMore >>
The cybersecurity event DakotaCon is happening this weekend. It's a real world exercise. Each college team or "IT team" goes in and secures a network from outside use. A group of "hackers" are on hand trying to break the team's security breach.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 11:06 AM EST2014-03-08 16:06:58 GMT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Vietnamese air force planes on Saturday spotted two large oil slicks close to where a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 went missing earlier in the day, the first sign that theMore >>
There was no confirmation that the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner.More >>