No death penalty in Precious Doe killing

Friday, August 29, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri prosecutors won't seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a 3-year-old girl once known only as "Precious Doe."

Prosecutors previously had said they planned to seek the death penalty for 28-year-old Harrell Johnson, of Muskogee, Okla.

But Jackson County prosecutor Jim Kanatzar announced Friday that he would not seek death, saying the case didn't meet necessary standards.

Kanatzar also said Johnson had agreed to have the case tried by a local jury, even though he had won a change-of-venue motion. But Kanatzar insists that he didn't take the death penalty off the table in exchange for that.

Johnson is charged with first-degree murder in the 2001 death of Erica Green. The girl's decapitated body, and later her head, were found in a wooded area of Kansas City.

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