Dallas man executed for 1999 rape, slaying
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas man was executed Thursday for the rape and slaying of a woman abducted while she was trying to make a call at a pay phone 10 years ago.
Derrick Lamone Johnson, 28, was the 14th Texas prisoner executed this year in the nation’s most active death penalty state. He was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m.
His victim, LaTausha Curry, 25, of Dallas, was robbed of less than $10, driven away in her car, raped, beaten with a two-by-four and suffocated with her own blouse.
Authorities determined the 1999 slaying was part of a two-week crime spree involving Johnson and a companion that left numerous women robbed or raped from Dallas to south of Waco, some 100 miles away.
Johnson’s lawyers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to block the punishment, contending Johnson was mentally disabled and ineligible for execution under high court guidelines. The court turned down his request.
Several women who survived attacks by Johnson and his partner, Marcus Maxwell, testified at Johnson’s trial. Maxwell took a plea deal and is serving 40 years in prison.
In a confession to police, Johnson said he and Maxwell raped and killed Curry, who worked as a security guard and had a 4-year-old child. He told officers where to find her body in an overgrown part of a park in Dallas’ Oak Cliff area. His fingerprints were in her car and DNA tied him to her rape.