5-Year-Old Could Face Murder Charge in Drowning Death of Crying Toddler

Katie Kindelan, ABC News, June 10, 2011

Kansas City police are trying to determine whether to charge a 5-year-old girl with murder after she admitted that she dragged a crying toddler into a bathtub and held him under water until he stopped crying.

{snip}

The girl, who is not being identified because of her age, was left with 18-month-old Jermane Johnson Jr. on June 3 along with two other children and a 16-year-old girl who was supposed to be looking after them. The teenager had fallen asleep, police said.

Police originally ruled the death an accident, but it turned into a potential homicide investigation after the 5-year-old told social workers that she held 18-month-old Johnson under water to stop his crying.

“She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water until he stopped crying,” Snapp said.

{snip}

The victim’s family has taken to Facebook to express its grief and issue a plea for donations in the infant’s honor.

The boy’s father, Jermane Johnson Sr., wrote on his Facebook wall, “Please help me give my son a proper burial,” alongside information directing followers to the memorial account set up in his son’s honor.

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    Why do blacks always won’t everyone else (but them) to pay for their funerals and hospital bills? Do I hold a fund raiser when one of my family members dies or needs a surgery? That would be NO!

  • Anonymous

    Rather than trying to demonize a preschooler (five years old!) by trying her for murder, they should be investigating the parents who are trying to profiteer off their child’s death. There is no way a five year old can really understand death, and so by definition cannot form the intent required to commit murder. Also question why the teenager fell asleep on the job; was she drinking, or under the influence of drugs, or sleepy after sex with the boyfriend? Was she really there or had she slipped out for “just a few minutes”? Seems like four small children would make enough noise to keep a reasonable sober, healthy teenager awake if she was present.

  • patthemick

    Absurd. You can’t charge a five year old with murder unless you are a barbarian. This is a tragedy but to even consider charging a five year old is ridiculous.

  • Question Diversity

    “She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water until he stopped crying,” Snapp said.

    The only way you could hold a toddler under water until he stops crying is if you know that doing so would kill him. If all you were worried about was making him stop crying, you could do any number of dangerous but non-fatal things. I think there’s a very good murder case to be made here.

  • Roberto

    “”It’s time to fight back,” that’s what Huey said. Two shots in the dark, now Huey’s dead.”

  • Anonymous

    The victim’s family has taken to Facebook to express its grief and issue a plea for donations in the infant’s honor.

    The boy’s father, Jermane Johnson Sr., wrote on his Facebook wall, “Please help me give my son a proper burial,” alongside information directing followers to the memorial account set up in his son’s honor.

    ———————-

    You and your own family pay for it. Have some “honor” for yourself. Watch out to whom you leave your children to “babysit”.

    Have car washes, etc, pick some grapes, to make some money so you can bury your own son. Sound cruel? No, it is not. I get so sick of these people who constantly beg for money when someone dies in their own families. Have they never heard of life insurance? It is very inexpensive for children.

    BTW, what happens to all that EXTRA donated money after the funeral is paid for? No one ever reports on that, do they?

    We have to pay for our own when they are murdered by YOUR racial brethren, Jermane. Bet you don’t give a d… about us though, right?

  • Shawn (the female)

    Anon #3, exactly!! Black mantra: “Please help me.” They beg for help from the time they wake up till they fall in bed I, too, am fed up with “A fund has been set up at…. you can donate at any branch.” No, I can’t. You had ’em, you bury em. You’re not responsible for me or my family; I’m darn sure not responsible for yours.

  • Stiv

    The teenage babysitter should be charged with negligent manslaughter more than the little girl should be charged with homicide.

    The five year old sounds like she could be a sociopath in the making. But only if she truly understands what death means. Some kids her age are still sketchy on the finality of it.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    A fund has been set up at…. you can donate at any branch.

    Shawn:

    What’s worse is getting hit up at my school, in public or at meetings for these funerals — or, in the hispanic community, to “send the body back to mexico to be buried.”

    I too hate donating to these things but all eyes are on me when the envelope goes around and to keep the peace…(and my job…).

    Bon

  • Anonymous

    #4 — Question Diversity wrote at 7:10 PM on June 13:

    “She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water until he stopped crying,” Snapp said.

    The only way you could hold a toddler under water until he stops crying is if you know that doing so would kill him. If all you were worried about was making him stop crying, you could do any number of dangerous but non-fatal things. I think there’s a very good murder case to be made here.

    ———————————–

    Yes indeed, if you are talking about a 10 year old, or 15 year old, or older, but most five year old preschoolers DO NOT understand this. Their cat dies and they can watch a parent bury the cat, and they still ask for weeks, “When is Kitty going to come back?”

    They can’t be seriously asking for money to bury their son and not for money to pay for counseling and attorney fees for their daughter? Bury your own kid, and next time leave the kids you have left with somebody besides a mentally disabled teen.

    Whatever Kansas City official is in charge of bringing these charges against this little girl needs their own head examined. Foster care, maybe. A murder conviction at the age of five and then life in prison? I don’t hardly think so.

  • Anonymous

    Anon 5:19 says: There is no way a five year old can really understand death

    I think that depends on what they may have seen.

    It is true that most five-year-olds don’t have a conscience; they are innocent in the same way animals are innocent. But they can still kill. Conscience develops between 5 yrs and 10 yrs.

    Many blacks never develop much of a conscience at all. That’s how they can commit crimes without being criminal in the same way as a white.

  • Anonymous

    If you have a job and one of your children dies, you can sign a note at the funeral home for whatever portion of the total cost you need to finance. The money you USED to spend on the child’s food, clothes, toys, medical expenses, etc., is now available to help meet the payments to the funeral home. This is why financial advisers advise middle class families NOT to buy life insurance for children. If a child dies, the per capita income of the family immediately rises.

    White people often help pick up part of the funeral expenses for “poor relations,” but I can’t recall seeing a white family ask for money from the entire community for a toddler’s funeral. I HAVE seen working class people sell off an extra car or boat to pay for a child’s funeral. I have frequently seen sympathy cards with a check inside being handed to the widow, etc., outside the church after the service. It also sometimes happens that family and friends will call the funeral home and discreetly inquire as to the outstanding balance due, and send in a contribution so that the next of kin won’t have as much to pay off.

    Lots of funeral homes will provide a decent burial for a small child for very little money, especially if they have a prior relationship with the family (i.e. they have handled funerals for various adults in the extended family, and have been paid in full for their services.) Likewise, pastors and priests often waive their fees for a child’s funeral if the family is of modest means.

    What is NOT possible in the white community is having an over-the-top funeral for your family member while not contributing anything at all. Of course, no one expects that a black family would have money in the bank that could go toward a funeral. I wouldn’t be surprised if the grieving Daddy had not seen his son since he was born. The grieving Daddies often only show up after the tragedy. I share the suspicion of the person who already posted that Daddy is going on a spree with the funeral money.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of 5 year olds and the damage they do I have come to the conclusion that the black race is far beyond civilizing. Too many stories like this wherever they are. I am sickened to my core. Wonder if the MS media reported this on the national news? Or maybe Glenn Beck, Geraldo, O’Reilly can address this on one of their shows.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/brooksville-mom-kids-accused-of-torturing-killing-kittens/1175054

  • Zach Sower

    The boy’s father, Jermane Johnson Sr., wrote on his Facebook wall, “Please help me give my son a proper burial,” alongside information directing followers to the memorial account set up in his son’s honor.

    Can’t they donate the body to science?

    Millions for boats back to Africa. Not one cent for welfare.

  • Tom UK

    Trying a 5 year old for murder? Really, Kansas cops? The guilty party here must be the “babysitter” who was asleep when the tragedy took place, and the parents for hiring such an inadequate minder.

  • sedonaman

    My mother would have asked, “Where was the mother?”

  • Anonymous

    15 — Tom UK wrote at 4:29 PM on June 14:

    Trying a 5 year old for murder? Really, Kansas cops? The guilty party here must be the “babysitter” who was asleep when the tragedy took place, and the parents for hiring such an inadequate minder.

    ——————————-

    This mentality is why the UK is sinking…the liberal hand wringing attitude that think blacks “don’t know no better” even at 5 years of age. Young black kids grow up to be murderers, rapists, thieves, and just plain psychotic. How many times do we have to see evidence of this very fact?

    How many 5 year old White kids do you see that don’t know that killing is wrong? That death is death forever. I sure knew that at the age of 5! Blacks are a different species and no matter how old or young they are, your first mistake is “thinking” that they have the same mental capacity, the same attitudes, the same IQ, the same reasoning skills, etc. as Whites do.

  • Anonymous

    The biggest funeral homes in both San Francisco and Chicago give free funerals for children. The death rate among children is extremely low and the good relationships it builds in the community is priceless.

    I’ve known several people who used those funeral homes because they attended a funeral for a child and heard it was free.

    As for the girl, she is a vicious damaged sociopath. Nurture or nature, she is dangerous. She should not be in a foster home whether a regular or special needs foster home. She will terrorize others at school. She will be a total danger to others all her life.

    And why was the toddler crying? Was she beating on him? Probably. Had she already wounded him and feared getting in trouble? Maybe.

    The baby sitter was probably in another apartment the entire time.

    As a child welfare worker I followed the case of a black girl who was expelled from nursery school for beating on other children. She was vastly overweight and over powered them. She was homeschooled by the public school system all her school years. She was in and out of the local juvenile hall for assaults and beatings. She weighed about 180 pounds and was 5ft5 by age 10. She kept growing.

    At 18 and 250 pds she graduated to the adult jail. Last I heard she was sent to prison for beating an older woman in her housing project to death.

  • ludwig

    5 is young, but i remember reading in criminal law that the death penalty was meted out in england to an 8 yr old, once upon a time, not so long ago, for arson. if there is the knowledge that you are taking a human life, that is sufficient mens rea for murder. there is a decent chance that this state of mind could be proven in this case. if that was the child’s state of mind you can get an indication of that fact by whether or not her lawyer asks her to take the stand. if the child doesn’t take the stand that’s a good bet the lawyer doesn’t want her state of mind to be revealed for fear that testimony would be inculpatory. to those that say a 5 yr old can’t know these things i say you can’t establish mens rea one way or another simply by quoting piaget. everyone is unique.

  • Tom UK

    Anon 17- I don’t see how a question of whether a 5 year old can understand the nature and gravity of such acts is “hand-wringing liberalism”. Your post seems so far-out (Countries will go down the toilet if they don’t bring 5 year olds up on felony charges?) that I’m not entirely sure you aren’t joking.

    Adult Blacks may well generally lack the faculties you might expect of a “reasonable adult”- an argument definitely in favour of segregation, but children too (all children) generally lack the facilities of a reasonable adult. It’s why kids don’t get the same rights and responsibilities as adults.

    Most jurisdictions have minimum ages of criminal responsibility (6 to 12 in the US where it is specified in state codes, 7 in common law jurisdictions in the US, and 10-12 in the UK).

  • down the bayou

    5 years old, She knew what she was doing (blacks just don’t think it is bad to kill). Why was the baby crying? Was it hungry, in need of a diaper change, or was she beating on him? Why didn’t the teen baby-sitter wake up to the sounds of a crying baby, then his drowning? That makes a lot of noise. She was either not there, or was knocked out on pills. The both of them are to blame.