Governor Corbett Signs Execution Warrant for York County Child Killer

Jul 18, 2013, 12:05 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today signed an execution warrant for Harve Lamar Johnson who was convicted of viciously and brutally beating to death a 2-year-old York County girl in 2008.

Darisabel Baez died on April 7, 2008, the day after police were called to the York City home the child shared with her mother, Neida Baez, and Johnson.

The child received approximately 150 injuries to her head and body within 24-hours of admission to the hospital, according to an autopsy report, including bruises and internal injuries.

Johnson was convicted in 2009 of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in York County Court for torturing and killing the child.

The day before she died, police said Darisabel entered the bedroom her mother shared with Johnson, waking them up around 6 a.m. Johnson scolded and struck the child, ordering her to stand in the corner.

Later that same day, Johnson again became angry and spanked the child because he believed she was playing on the stairs. Johnson then took Darisabel into her bedroom where he continued the beating for another 30 minutes, striking her, whipping her with an electrical cord and hitting her in the face with her small boot. He mercilessly pummeled her while she lay crying on the floor until she lost consciousness.

When the child stopped crying, Johnson carried Darisabel into the bathroom and placed her in a bathtub of running hot water. Johnson left the child in the bathtub while he went to get her clean clothes. When he returned, Johnson found the child lying face down in the tub.

Johnson came out of the bathroom carrying Darisabel's wet, limp and unresponsive body. After arguing with Johnson about what happened, the child's mother began CPR and told Johnson to call 911.

When police arrived, the child's mother told them Darisabel had fallen in the bathtub. She later told police the girl fell down a flight of stairs.

Johnson was located outside, down the street from the home. When asked what happened, police said Johnson responded, "I know I'm in trouble because of all the bruises all over her body.''

"I beat her yesterday pretty bad with a belt.'' Johnson continued, "I've been beating her…I'm sorry, I did it. I have been hitting the child for the last two or three days.'' 

Now 32, Johnson is incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Greene. His execution for the Baez's murder has been scheduled for Sept. 10, 2013.

Johnson's warrant for the murder of Baez is the 27th execution warrant signed by Corbett.

Executions in Pennsylvania are carried out by lethal injection. For more information, visit the Department of Corrections online at and select "Death Penalty'' from the left-side navigation bar.

Media contactJanet Kelley, 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor