A death sentence is expected to be handed down today for northern Iowa native Angela Johnson, after her motion for a new trial was denied last week by U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett.
The 41-year-old Klemme native was convicted by a federal jury in May of ten counts of aiding former boyfriend and drug kingpin Dustin Honken in the slayings. Honken was also given the death sentence after being convicted of the murders, which were allegedly carried out to undermine a federal investigation into Honken’s methamphetamine operation.
The jury in June recommended the death penalty for Johnson in four of the deaths, which under federal sentencing rules is binding on the judge. When Bennett hands down the sentence on Tuesday, it makes Johnson the first woman executed by the U.S. government since December 1953, when a Missouri woman went to the gas chamber for kidnapping and murder, just six months after Ethel Rosenberg was executed in a high-profile espionage case.