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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Woman sentenced to 22 years for death of infant

  • Roshell Dawn Johnson, 37, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in connection with death of 20 month old Ocean McCoy in 2008.
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  • Roshell Dawn Johnson, 37, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in connection with death of 20 month old Ocean McCoy in 2008.
    Johnson pleaded guilty April 1 to charges of voluntary manslaughter and child abuse resulting in the McCoy's death. The infant girl died on January 30, 2008 at University Hospital in Columbia 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, Mo.
    The case, which had been charged in Miller County by Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard, was transferred to Camden County on a change of venue prior to the defendant's guilty pleas. 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 which had a possible maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
    Before passing sentence, Camden County Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden received a presentence investigation and sentencing assessment report prepared by the Missouri Division Probation and Parole, heard emotional victim impact statements from Ocean McCoy's father and family, and listened to recommendations from the lawyers.
    While assessing a consecutive sentence of 12 years for abuse of a child additional to 10 years imposed for the manslaughter charge, Judge Hayden commented that the limited remorse displayed by the defendant was "troubling."
    Howard stated that 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."
     
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