Mom on Facebook sentenced in son's drowning death

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by cybercore, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. cybercore

    cybercore New Member

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    A northern Colorado woman who was playing a game on Facebook while her 13-month-old baby drowned in a bathtub was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.

    Shannon Johnson, 34, of Fort Lupton, cried as District Judge Thomas Quammen told her he didn't think she was a bad person or that she killed her son on purpose, the Greeley Tribune reported. But, he added, that doesn't mean her action wasn't criminal.

    "You left this little boy in a bathtub so you could entertain yourself on the computer by playing games," Quammen said. "And you left that 13-month-old human being, little Joseph, incredibly for those reasons."

    Johnson pleaded guilty in March to negligently causing the death of her child. The charge carried a sentencing range of four to 12 years, but it also left open the possibility of alternative sentencing, which means she might have avoided spending time behind bars. Authorities rejected that option, saying they didn't want to play down the seriousness of her crime.

    According to court documents, Johnson put her son in the tub for his bath a little after 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20. She then left him unsupervised as she went to another room to share videos, check status updates and play Cafe World on Facebook.

    When she returned to the bathroom, she found Joseph sideways and face-down in the water.

    Johnson called 911 to say Joseph wasn't breathing. Paramedics were able to revive the toddler but he was pronounced dead at a Denver hospital.



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