The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 03, 2019 1:00 am

Neglect charged in death of son

5-month-old dies after taken to emergency room

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne woman was arrested Monday and charged with neglect of a dependent.

Jasmine Marie Johnson, 30, took her unresponsive 5-month-old son to the emergency room at Parkview Randallia on Sunday morning. Her son, Da'Coldest Johnson, also known as D.J., was pronounced dead by hospital officials at 9:06 a.m. Sunday.

The death has been ruled a homicide by the Allen County coroner's office, according to a news release today. Officials said D.J. died from blunt force injuries of the head.

He is the 24th homicide in Allen County this year.

According to court documents, Johnson arrived at the emergency room at 8:25 a.m. with D.J. suffering from severe bruising and head trauma.

Hospital staff notified police of a possible neglect case, and court documents state investigators observed “trauma, depression marks on the skull and contusions on D.J.'s head.” The boy also had a dent above his right eye, near the brow line and bruising on the left side of his face.

Court documents state investigators smelled alcohol on Johnson, who told police she had been drinking gin with her brother the night before. Johnson said she and her brother left the apartment from 6 to 8 p.m. to go to the liquor store.

Johnson said she last saw D.J. at 8 p.m. when she and her brother returned from the store. 

“The defendant did not want to disturb D.J. while he was sleeping, and she put D.J. on her bed while D.J. was strapped in his car seat, closed the door and went to the kitchen and drank a full bottle of gin and smoked with (her brother),” court documents state.

“The defendant said that when she woke up, the baby was out of the car seat and it was only she and the baby at her apartment,” the documents state.

Johnson allegedly told police she slept in the bed and when she awoke, D.J. was on the floor face down. The door to her apartment was locked, and she was the only one home with the baby Sunday morning, she told investigators.

Court documents state that Johnson originally told police her brother was gone when she went to bed. However, she later said her brother was in the home when she went to sleep but was gone when she woke up. 

Johnson also said she called her “sister,” a woman with whom she has no blood relation, to ask her for a ride to the hospital. That woman told police that Johnson called her at 8:09 a.m. “screaming and crying but not saying anything.”

When the witness arrived at Johnson's apartment, she allegedly found Johnson sitting down, holding D.J. and screaming, “come on, baby.”

During a search of Johnson's residence, investigators say they found a red stain on the floor next to a crib and on the crib rails. Police crime scene technicians also found an infant onesie from a nearby bed that had a red stain.

Johnson's next court date is Thursday.

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