Convicted Shoals Killer Gets Maximum Sentence

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A convicted killer will spend the rest of his life in prison.  Shawn Johnson learned his fate in front of a packed courtroom Thursday morning.

A jury convicted Johnson of beating Keith Barnett to death, with a baseball bat.

During the sentencing hearing, Johnson had several outbursts, cursing at the victim’s family, the judge, and prosecutors.

“I hope no other family has to go through what I`ve been through over the past 13 years, because it’s been some unbearable pain,” said the victim’s father, Kenneth Barnett.

At one point, Johnson stood up, kicked the table, and called the district attorney several derogatory names.  He was restrained by law enforcement and the hearing continued.

“Those people are lawless. Shawn Johnson is lawless.  Shannon is lawless and they showed that in the courtroom today.  They have no respect for the court system, no respect for authority.  They are going to be where they need to be for a long time,” said Lauderdale County District Attorney, Chris Connolly.

The judge handed down the maximum sentence and for Barnett’s family and prosecutors, this ruling comes as a victory.

During the hearing, Johnson spent more than 15 minutes denying any involvement with the crime.

Johnson says he plans to appeal the verdict and hopes for a new trial.

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