The first woman given a federal death sentence since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment 35 years ago has a hearing set for next month in federal court. Angela Johnson of Forest City has challenged her conviction and sentence in the 1993 drug-related slayings of three adults and two children in north-central Iowa.

Johnson’s attorneys claim that she was incompetent at the time of the trial and had ineffective lawyers. U.S. District Court documents show Judge Mark Bennett has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for March 7th in Sioux City. Johnson, who was convicted in 2005, was sentenced to death in four of the killings and given a life sentence for the fifth.

Johnson’s boyfriend Dustin Honken also was convicted and received a federal death sentence.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City