TULSA - A Tulsa man sitting on death row for a brutal double murder is one step closer to execution.
The US Supreme Court says it will not hear the appeal of Raymond Eugene Johnson.
Because he is on Oklahoma's death row, it will probably take another few years before Johnson exhausts all his appeals and is scheduled to be executed.
But for those who loved his victims -- Brooke and Kya Whitaker -- the court's decision is major step toward justice.
Johnson was convicted in a brutal murder that shocked even the most seasoned homicide detectives. In June of 2007, Brooke Whitaker broke up with Johnson because he attacked her. She filed a protective order against him.
After two weeks of staying with family because of her fear of Johnson, Brooke returned to her home where he was waiting for her.
Brooke was beaten with a hammer dozens of times. After hours of torturing her, Johnson set Brooke and her 7-month-old daughter on fire.
Angie Short is Brooke's aunt and Kya's great aunt.
"He was just pure evil," Short said of seeing Johnson in court. "He smiled at us in the courtroom during the trial. We had to listen to his 40 minute confession about how he did and why he did. Why she deserved it. He has no remorse."
Johnson was sentenced to die for their murders. But that was only the beginning of a lengthy appeals process that all death row inmates are entitled too.
That process took a huge blow on Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Johnson's appeal.
"It's another step toward justice for Brooke and Kya," Short said. "Maybe now it will be five years before he's executed instead of 10 years. But they are still gone."
Angie says justice won't truly be served until Johnson pays with his life. Because right now, Angie says she and everyone who loved Brooke and Kya are serving a life sentence without them.
"We can't talk to Brooke and Kya. We can't see them or write them a letter," Angie said. "I would love to hear their voices. But we can't have that. And he can."
Short says she and her family members plan to witness Johnson's execution.
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