April 2, 1992
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Willie Ervin Fisher stabs his girlfriend Angela Johnson to death with a knife and broomstick
On the evening of April 1, Ervin (30 at the time of the murder) was visiting Johnson (29) where she lived with her mother, grandmother, 13-year-old daughter, and 4-year-old son by Fisher. At some point during the late hours of the night, Johnson and Fisher entered an argument resulting in Fisher striking Johnson in the face. Johnson ran into her grandmother’s bedroom, saying Fisher had hit her in the eye. Fisher followed her into the bedroom, pushed Johnson top of her grandmother, and hit both women. Fisher fled and Johnson’s grandmother contacted police.
A warrant was issued for Fisher’s arrest and police began searching for him. A few hours after the assault, however, Fisher returned to Johnson’s home. He kicked open the front door and walked towards Johnson with a knife in his hand. He cornered Johnson and began stabbing her in the chest and stomach. 13-year-old Shemika came to her mother’s defense and attempted to protect her by hitting Fisher with a broomstick; she was stabbed in her arm and back in the process. Johnson’s mother also attempted to fight Fisher but was not injured.
Fisher pulled Johnson from the home, down the front steps, and into the driveway where he pulled off Johnson’s nightgown and continued to stab her with the knife and the broomstick Shemika had hit him with earlier, as well as beat and kicked her. In total, Johnson was stabbed 32 times and the beatings resulted in a broken cheek and jaw.
One of the Johnson’s neighbors had heard the disturbance and yelled at Fisher to leave Johnson alone. When Fisher refused, the neighbor fired a shot into the air scaring Fisher away. Johnson and Shemika were treated at the hospital where Shemika recovered, though Johnson was pronounced dead at 7:30 a.m.
Fisher, who had been hiding in the woods, called police in the afternoon, telling them where he could be found. He was located and arrested.
During trial, Fisher attempted a defense of “voluntary intoxication,” claiming his use of cocaine and alcohol shortly before the murder caused him to “black out” after Johnson attempted to take his knife away. The defense did not work and Fisher was sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection on March 9, 2001.
United States Court of Appeals,Fourth Circuit. Willie Ervin FISHER, Petitioner-Appellant, v. R.C. LEE, Warden, Central Prison; North Carolina Attorney General, Respondents-Appellees. No. 99-25 Decided: June 19, 2000. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-4th-circuit/1436501.html
Johnson, Doug. “FISHER EXECUTED FOR 1992 MURDER\ WILLIE ERVIN FISHER DIED BY INJECTION FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DENIED HIM A STAY OF EXECUTION IN HIS GIRLFRIEND’S STABBING DEATH.” News & Record. March 9, 2001. Accessed: April 2, 2019. https://www.greensboro.com/fisher-executed-for-murder-willie-ervin-fisher-died-by-injection/article_588f7ee6-59f8-55a3-b574-e44563b28957.html
Willie Ervin Fisher. Clark County Prosecutor. Accessed: April 2, 2019. http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/fisher701.htm
“Man executed for killing girlfriend.” The Town Talk [Alexandria, Louisiana]. March 10, 2001