Woman Pleads Guilty In Infant's Death

Posted: Apr 2, 2013 3:56 PM by KOMU Staff
Updated: Apr 2, 2013 5:27 PM

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MILLER COUNTY - Roshell Dawn Johnson, 37, pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and abuse of a child on Monday before Circuit Judge Ken Hayden in Camdenton.

Johnson was charged in the death of 20-month-old Ocean McCoy. The infant girl suffered serious brain injuries from shaking and non-accidental head trauma inflicted on January 2008. It was later determined to have occurred while the child was in Johnson's care at a Brumley-area home shared by Johnson and the child's father.

The child was transported to the University of Missouri Hospital and died the next day.

After accepting the guilty pleas, Judge Hayden ordered a pre-sentence investigation and sentencing assessment report to be prepared by the Missouri Division Probation and Parole and has set the case for final sentencing on July 9 at the Camden County Courthouse.

The guilty pleas were entered according to a plea agreement announced to the court by Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard. The defendant's pleas were accepted to amended charges of voluntary manslaughter in knowingly causing the death of the child and abuse of a child by inflicting cruel and inhuman punishment upon a child resulting in serious injury leading to the death.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the court will determine the sentences to be imposed upon Johnson, which combined will range from a minimum of 10 to up to 25 years in prison.

Johnson will remain in the Camden County jail pending her sentencing, where she has been in custody since the case was transferred from Miller County in 2009.

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