A Miller County woman faces up to 25 years in prison for manslaughter and child abuse in a case that dates back to 2008 when 20-month-old Ocean McCoy was killed.
Roshell Dawn Johnson, 37, entered pleas of guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and abuse of a child on Monday April 1, before Circuit Judge Ken Hayden . The case is being heard in Camden County on a change of venue from Miller. Circuit Court Judge Ken Hayden is presiding.
Johnson was charged in the death of 20 month old Ocean McCoy. The infant girl suffered fatal brain injuries from shaking and non-accidental head trauma inflicted on January 29, 2008. She died the next day at the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics in Columbia where she was taken for treatment.
Johnson was arrested and charged with the death a few days after the child’s injuries, following an investigation by the Miller County Sheriff’s Department assisted by the Missouri Department of Social Services STAT Team (State Technical Assistance Team). The injuries were determined to have occurred while the child was in Johnson’s care at a Brumley home shared by Johnson and the child’s father.
The guilty pleas were entered according to a plea agreement announced to the court by Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard. The defendant’s pleas were accepted to amended charges of voluntary manslaughter in knowingly causing the death of the child and abuse of a child by inflicting cruel and inhuman punishment upon a child resulting in serious injury leading to the death. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the court will determine the sentences to be imposed upon Johnson, which combined will range from a minimum of 10 up to 25 years in prison.
After accepting the guilty pleas, Judge Hayden ordered a presentence investigation and sentencing assessment report to be prepared by the Missouri Division Probation and Parole and has set the case for final sentencing on July 9, 2013 at the Camden County Courthouse.
Johnson is being held in the Camden County Jail where she has been since the case was transferred from Miller County in 2009.