20 March 2022 :
State to drop death penalty in resentencing of Richard Allen Johnson.
After more than a dozen years on Florida’s death row, Johnson is expected to face a punishment of life in prison when he returns to court next month, a prosecutor told a judge Friday. Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman during a brief hearing told Circuit Judge William Roby the state will no longer seek the death penalty for Johnson, 44, White, who was convicted of killing Tammy Hagin on Feb. 15, 2001 during what was described at trial as an alcohol-induced rage. Roby ordered Johnson to appear in court April 18 to be resentenced. “We told the judge at that time the state will withdraw its notice of intent to seek the death penalty,” Workman said. “He will get a consecutive life sentence and he’s going to waive his right to appeal.” A jury in 2004 convicted Johnson of murdering the 35-year-old single mother of 2 children then dumping her body in the Savannas State Park where it was discovered by police. Johnson is 1 of the death penalty cases that returned to court for a sentencing do-over after rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court invalidated death sentences that followed less-than-unanimous jury recommendations. The state’s revised death penalty law, enacted in 2018, requires a jury to reach a unanimous decision in recommending death. The same jury that convicted Johnson of 1st-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual battery and theft at his trial held in Fort Pierce, recommended a sentence of death in an 11-1 vote, court records show. His resentencing has been pending since 2017. Workman on Friday said the state decided not to seek the death penalty again after consulting with Hagin’s family. “This was a decision that was made in collaboration with the victim’s family,” he said. "We got input from them and they were in agreement 100% with this outcome.”