23-year-old Lovily Johnson of Michigan plead guilty to murdering her 6-month-old son Noah. The infant had been left, strapped in his car seat, in an attic for three days in the sweltering heat in July of 2017. Why had his mother done this to him? She wanted to go use drugs and party with her friends.
Reports say that Johnson left her son for at least 32 hours, without food or water, and when she returned, he was already dead and decomposing. Johnson, who had been on a drug binge, says that she left Noah in his car seat on July 17, 2017 and went to go out with friends. The next morning she ate, drank and partied with her friends in their air conditioned homes and never once checked on Noah. On Wednesday July 19, 2017 Johnson returned home and found her son already dead. Johnson took the baby's body to the emergency room, still strapped into his car seat and partially decomposing.
"Dr. Barbara Wynn said it was apparent the child was dead. “He was not breathing, he had no pulse,’’ Wynn testified. “There was a very foul smell to him.’’
Noah’s body temperature was 82 degrees; normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees, Wynn testified.
“It meant he could not be resuscitated,'' Wynn told jurors. “He was dead; had been dead for a while.’’
Autopsy reports said that Noah was dehydrated and had severe diaper rash. He also weighed only 12 pounds (the average weight for a child his age is 16-17 pounds).
"This was your own child who was six months old and you killed him,’’ Judge Mark Trusock said. “I hope you think every day of how you killed your own child.’’
He sentenced Lovily Johnson to between 20 and 80 years for the neglect death of her son.
The 23-year-old mother apologized Thursday, telling Trusock she never intended to harm her son. “If I could give my life for his, I would,’’ Johnson said.
“You left this child alone, you mistreated this child,'' Trusock said. "You left this child in an upstairs apartment where there was no air conditioning. And then what did you choose to do? You went out with your friends. You partied. You sought out a place that had air conditioning. And you used drugs.''
Defense attorney Jonathan Schildgen asked for leniency, saying Lovily Johnson had a troubled childhood that followed her into adulthood. He called it a '‘generational curse.'’
"Do I think she has the heart and soul of someone who wanted to torture and sadistically murder her baby? No,'' Schildgen told the judge. "She’s a young kid who probably had her heart broken when she is born.’’
Generational curse or not, this is inexcusable behavior. It's often been said that folks need licenses to drive cars and fish in a lake but absolutely nothing to bear and raise children. Thankfully this woman admitted to what she'd done but it doesn't change the fact that one little boy doesn't get to grow up and that his other family members don't get to witness the kind of man he would become.
This is sad. Plain and simple.