Woman Sentenced in Miller County Child Death
MILLER COUNTY, Mo. - 37-year-old Roshell Dawn Johnson was sentenced Tuesday to a total of 22 years in prison in connection with the death of a 20-month-old girl in 2008. Johnson pleaded guilty April 1 to charges of voluntary manslaughter and child abuse resulting in the death of Ocean McCoy.
The infant died January 30, 2008 at University Hospital in Columbia. She suffered from severe brain injuries due to shaking and non-accidental head trauma inflicted by Johnson the previous day at the family's residence in Brumley, Missouri.
Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard noted that a plea agreement crafted by his office with the defendant's attorney required a sentence of 10 years on the charge of manslaughter, but left sentencing to the court's discretion on the remaining count for child abuse. Before passing sentence, Judge Kenneth Hayden heard emotional victim impact statements from Ocean McCoy's father and family.
Johnson was sentenced to 12 years for abuse of a child and an additional 10 years for manslaughter. Judge Hayden said the defendant showed a "troubling" lack of remorse.
Howard said he was pleased with the court's sentence, noting, "we consistently advocate with our judges for long term sentences in child death cases, because of the gravity of the crime, and what we see as the risk in offenders who are capable of committing these types of acts against children."