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This story is absolutely disturbing. A Michigan mother has been charged with child abuse and the murder of her son after leaving him in a car seat for two days.
22-year-old Lovily Johnson allegedly strapped her six-month-old son Noah into a car seat, leaving him without food for two days in her apartment.
Wyoming District Court Judge Steven Timmers ordered Johnson be held without bond until her next court appearance. If convicted of the charges, she faces life in prison without parole.
Johnson was arrested several hours after bringing her dead child to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital emergency room on July 19. She told police that she was the child’s sole caregiver before he died and admitted that she was home several times while he was in the car seat.
She explained that she left the child alone while she was running errands, visiting friends, and smoking marijuana. Further, she didn’t change his diaper during that time. Documents show that other than checking on him and giving him a bottle once, Noah was strapped in the car seat the entire time by himself.
Detective Robert Meredith wrote in a probable cause affidavit: “Upon arrival, Noah was clearly deceased and had been for some time,” adding, “She knowingly and intentionally deprived him of the necessities of life by not feeding him since Monday evening [July 17].”
Noah had been buckled into a car seat and left in her apartment with no air conditioning. An autopsy showed he weighed 12 pounds and suffered from severe diaper rash.
Johnson also has a two-year-old daughter, who has now been put under the supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services, with efforts being made to place her with her grandmother.
Johnson told the judge that she didn’t understand the charges initially, so he reviewed them a second time, saying, “Well, let me make it really clear. They alleged you killed a young child and that you physically abused it. Does that make sense to you?”
She responded, “Yes sir.”
Her next hearing is set for August 2.
According to court documents, the mother had a history of complaints filed with Child Protective Services, who had previously investigated Johnson. One incident was a complaint that Noah was left unattended in a car at a video store. A police officer said that Johnson “did not appear to care the child was in the vehicle and unsupervised and she kept defending why she needed multiple DVDs.” Officers found marijuana, a pipe, and a digital scale in the vehicle.
Those weighing in in the comments section of the Daily Mail‘s coverage of this tragic story were rightfully saddened, with notes such as: “Disgusting POS. Poor excuse for the word mother” and “Serious question: WTF is wrong with everyone harming innocent children?!”
Another added: “Having a year old daughter when I hear stories like these it breaks my heart in pieces, babies are loving angels, how can anyone do harm to them??”
This person was heartbroken, writing: “Breaks my heart when I imagine how that sweet baby cried because he was hungry. So extremely sad.”
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