Man convicted in murder of store clerk set ablaze sentenced to death

Clerk burned

Credit: WFAA

Matthew Johnson is on trial for the fiery murder of Garland convenience store clerk Nancy Harris.

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by MARJORIE OWENS & MARCUS MOORE / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM

DALLAS — A Garland man convicted in the death of a store clerk set ablaze and left to die was sentenced to death Friday.

A jury convicted Matthew Lee Johnson, 38, of capital murder on October 30.

Surveillance video captured footage of Johnson walk into a Garland convenience store, pour lighter fluid over 76-year-old Nancy Harris and set the fluid on fire.

Arguing against a death sentence, Johnson's defense attorney said his life was controlled by drug addiction. Prosecutors said that was no excuse for the suffering Harris endured that fatal day in May of 2012.

Harris, known as "grandma" to customers, burned for more than two minutes before a police officer spotted her and put out the fire. She died at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas less than a week after she was violently attacked.

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