Sentencing scheduled for 1981 shooting rampage

Published On: Apr 14 2014 10:50:25 AM EDT
BARTOW, Fla. -

A 64-year-old man is expected to learn whether he will receive life imprisonment or be sent back to Florida's death row for a 1981 shooting rampage that left three people dead, including a Polk County sheriff's deputy.

The Lakeland Ledger reports that Paul Beasley Johnson's sentencing will be held May 7.

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.

Johnson has been successful twice in having his sentences overturned on appeal.

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