Back to death row for 1981 shooting rampage

BARTOW, Florida (AP) - A man convicted in a 1981 central Florida shooting rampage that left three people dead is heading back to death row for a third time.

A Polk County judge gave 64-year-old Paul Beasley Johnson three death sentences Wednesday. Johnson has been successful twice in having his sentences overturned on appeal.

Deputy Theron A. Burnham, Winter Haven taxi driver William Evans and Darrell Ray Beasley, a Lakeland man who agreed to give Johnson a ride, all died during the rampage.

Prosecutors say Johnson was trying to get money for drugs and was willing to kill to evade capture.

Johnson's lawyers say he suffers from brain damage, which causes him to be violent.

The Lakeland Ledger reports that Johnson did not wish to address the court before his latest sentencing.


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