Posted on June 13, 2011

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.


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.


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.