A Michigan mother claims to hear voices through television before allegedly killing her 3-year-old daughter – WSVN 7News | Miami news, weather, sports

(CNN) – A 22-year-old mother accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter claimed she heard voices from her television telling her to hurt her daughter before the girl’s death, according to a police report.

Justine Johnson has pleaded not guilty to one count of felony criminal mischief and one count of first-degree child abuse, according to the Iosco County, Michigan Prosecution Service. She is being held without restraint. An attorney for Johnson declined to comment when it was reached by CNN.

According to the CNN police report by prosecutors, Johnson told an Iosco County Child Protective Services (CPS) official that the cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants” was on television when she heard voices through the television and that the television threatened to kill Johnson unless she injured her daughter, Sutton Mosser.

A CPS official told police that Johnson said she underwent heroin withdrawal and used cocaine the day she allegedly killed Sutton, who had turned three years old two days before her death, the police report reads.

“My office intends to proceed to the trial so that a jury” can make a decision on guilt, Iosco County prosecutor James A. Bacarella told CNN. “This case is a terrible tragedy and I can not imagine the level of grief that the family who loved this child felt.”

Johnson’s mother, Alisa Johnson, reached out for a comment, telling CNN: “My daughter loved her child,” and “people portray her as someone she is not.”

Body found by suspect’s brothers

According to a police report, in the early morning hours of September 17, 2021, Oscoda Township police officers responded to a home in Oscoda Township after Johnson’s brother, Knesley Johnson, called police and reported findings. a human foot sticking out of a black garbage bag.

Johnson’s other brother – a teenager – told investigators he had woken up around 6 p.m. 18 the night before and saw his sister do what he thought were drugs in the bathroom, the report says. He told police he had asked Johnson where Sutton was, to which he said she replied, “watch out for your damn case.”

The teenager walked for a few hours and when he returned home that night, no one was home, he told police. When Knesley Johnson came home from work, the younger brother asked about Justine’s whereabouts, the report says. Then he started looking around home when he found his foot plugged out of the bag, the report said. He then alerted his brother Knesley, who called police.

When police arrived, they confirmed that the bag contained the body of a girl who would be identified as Sutton, the report says. She had been stabbed several times.

Police found Justine Johnson shortly after as she was walking along a railroad track. She was initially detained but refused to answer questions from detectives, the report said. She was arrested later that day.

The child had lived in the home, which was owned by her grandmother Alisa Johnson. Alisa told police she had encouraged Justine to stay in the house with her daughter more often instead of in her own apartment so she could help Justine take care of Sutton. Alisa Johnson told police they had been living in her home for about a month and a half.

During the investigation, police gained access to Johnson’s apartment, where the report says they found blood on the floor. The report also said that a bathtub upstairs was partially filled with water and that it showed “a red tint consistent with blood.” It is unclear if blood was found in the apartment.

Mother risks life imprisonment

Police informed CPS of the death, and the agency opened its own investigation. As part of this investigation, the CPS specialist assigned to the case interviewed Johnson on October 1st.

The specialist told police that Johnson said she underwent opiate withdrawal and used cocaine the day her daughter was killed, according to the police report.

According to a recording of their conversation described in the police report, Johnson told the specialist that “SpongeBob SquarePants” was playing on the TV at her mother’s home. She said the television told her that “they would kill me” if she did not injure her daughter, police report says. Johnson also said she had “blacked out” and did not remember hurting Sutton.

Afterwards, Johnson said she had gone to her own home, tried to kill herself and was then on her way back to her mother’s house when police found her, according to the police report.

Johnson appeared in court on Feb. 4, after which the judge found a probable cause for the case to go to court. She is due to appear in court next February 28.

If convicted, the charge of felony murder carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The charge of first-degree child abuse also carries a life sentence if found guilty.

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