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Augusta woman sentenced to life in death of 3-year-old son

Boy died with traces of methadone in system

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011 9:22 PM
Last updated Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011 6:09 AM
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A mother was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after a jury found her guilty of murder in connection with the death of her 3-year-old son.

Alana Johnson was arrested last October after her son died with traces of methadone in his system; Johnson was prescribed methadone as a means to wean her off an addiction to prescription painkillers.

The verdict, delivered after 35 minutes of deliberation, acquitted Johnson on a second count of murder related to administering the drug to the child.

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JRC2024
8888
Points
JRC2024 09/28/11 - 09:45 pm
0
0
I guess she will have to kick

I guess she will have to kick the habit now.

Fiat_Lux
15456
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Fiat_Lux 09/28/11 - 10:53 pm
0
0
I certainly don't know all

I certainly don't know all the details of this sad case, but how does an unintentional action that leads to a death end up being treated as murder? Negligent homicide (if there is such in Georgia) I could understand; involuntary manslaughter, absolutely. Murder seems something of a reach, even if she was an addict trying to recover.

It doesn't seem like she intended to harm her child, and I thought murder, by definition, implies an intent to kill or else is unintentionally killing someone while committing another serious felony. It didn't sound like she was doing either of those, but was just miserably, even pathologically neglectful.

If anyone knows the legal reasons, I'd be interested in learning why this needless tragedy was handled this way.

doubt-it
0
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doubt-it 09/28/11 - 11:06 pm
0
0
I'm with you Fiat. Sad case,

I'm with you Fiat. Sad case, but murder? Hate to bring up the "A" word, but had she killed him three and a half years ago, she would have walked.

mj1997
7
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mj1997 09/29/11 - 12:21 am
0
0
why can't all show her photo?

why can't all show her photo?

Kezita
0
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Kezita 09/29/11 - 02:49 am
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0
What's the "A" word?

What's the "A" word?

Kezita
0
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Kezita 09/29/11 - 02:58 am
0
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I just read yesterday's

I just read yesterday's article about this case and although it's not very detailed it doesn't even attempt to bring up how this mother's actions amount to murder. Apparently the boy was sick, was put to bed and when checked on later he was unresponsive and was brought to the hospital. There is no evidence that she gave the boy her medication. Clearly she should have been much more careful with her medication and kept it somewhere where the boy couldn't get it but that's negligence, not murder. I'm sure this woman has already gotten the the worst punishment she could ever get - losing her child. Life in prison is a travesty in this case.

dlnga
40
Points
dlnga 09/29/11 - 03:21 am
0
0
I have followed this story

I have followed this story with interest due to having met Ms. Johnson through a mutual friend while she was pregnant. I learned at that time that Ms. Johnson actually had six other children, all in the custody of DFACS and had been for a number of years due to Ms. Johnson being deemed an unfit mother. Why wasn't this child given the same protection by the state?

shrimp for breakfast
5456
Points
shrimp for breakfast 09/29/11 - 03:49 am
0
0
Methadone should be taken off

Methadone should be taken off the market. It has absolutely no use except to keep addicts sick. It's pushed by the federal government and they charge the addict top dollar for it. If they can't pay one day then they don't get their dose. My friend said that methadone is the hardest drug in the world to come off of. IT TOOK HIM SEVEN SOLID WEEKS WHEN HE DECIDED TO GO COLD TURKEY, hE DIDN'T SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT FOR SIX MONTHS. iT ROTS YOUR TEETH AND GETS INTO YOUR BONES. iT IS A NASTY, NASTY DRUG.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 09/29/11 - 06:12 am
0
0
AMNESTY for this poor

AMNESTY for this poor down-troddened person!

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 09/29/11 - 07:49 am
0
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If she had 6 other kids then

If she had 6 other kids then she is sick for continuing to have kids.......she certainly never needs to be allowed to give birth to another one. It may not have been murder but the child is dead and she is responsible, maybe she needs alot of time in prison. I agree with shrimp for breakfast about the Methadone.......

david jennings
601
Points
david jennings 09/29/11 - 08:50 am
0
0
It is hard,very hard to

It is hard,very hard to understand how a woman can have seven children and probably no plan or means of support.Where is/are the Fathers?In this day and time there is access to birth control.How much has this irresponsibility cost,and now the cost of incarceration.Im sure there are people truely in need of assistance and cant get it.Its a sad story indeed.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/29/11 - 08:59 am
0
0
Fiat, so good to see your

Fiat, so good to see your post, long time. I completely agree with you. My heart breaks for her and the baby. Had she not been a recovering drug addict, perhaps an upper class cancer patient, and her son had died from taking her medication, I don't think we would see the same conclusion.

I was a 24/7 hands on mother and mine found a way to swallow a battery around the age of 3. She took it out of her Disney watch.
Thank God, she told me about it.

I asked her why she would do such a thing, because I had always told her not to put anything in her mouth. Her answer was haunting to me as I read about this case... "I wanted to be like you mommy, and take my medicine."

benzero
4
Points
benzero 09/29/11 - 09:08 am
0
0
Shrimp, educate yourself

Shrimp, educate yourself before you spout off ridiculous untruths on here. Just because you know someone who had a bad experience doesn't make methadone a bad drug.

JRC2024
8888
Points
JRC2024 09/29/11 - 09:16 am
0
0
Bad teeth and rotting bones

Bad teeth and rotting bones sounds like crystal meth to me. You also forgot to mention pitted faces. Not sure about methadone.

happychimer
17756
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happychimer 09/29/11 - 09:34 am
0
0
She will be eligible for

She will be eligible for parole in 2040. A jury found her guilty. I certainly am not taking up for her. It is time judges get tough on women who kill their own children.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 09/29/11 - 10:04 am
0
0
women kill their own children
Unpublished

women kill their own children everyday..with the Government and medical professionals only to willing to help.........................

Fiat_Lux
15456
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/29/11 - 12:23 pm
0
0
You are exactly right,

You are exactly right, WondersNeverCease. Children are killed intentionally and with great violence and untold suffering by the millions, as if they were nothing more than cockroaches, and it's all perfectly legal.

It makes you wonder how people can be so self-righteous about this clearly flawed woman.

happychimer
17756
Points
happychimer 09/29/11 - 12:28 pm
0
0
I fail to see how anyone can

I fail to see how anyone can feel sorry for a woman who kills her own child.she should have gotten life without parole.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/29/11 - 01:13 pm
0
0
I can't get a grasp on seeing

I can't get a grasp on seeing this as murder. Neglect, yes. Accident, possibily. Murder, no. Was their testimony or evidence that she administered this drug to the baby?

If mine had died from the battery or taken my cancer medication, should I have faced murder charges? Is not losing her baby, more prison than the state could possibly impose? What about the father, was he present? If so, is he not equally responsible for the baby's care?

happychimer
17756
Points
happychimer 09/29/11 - 01:15 pm
0
0
Willow what happened with you

Willow what happened with you was an accident. I don't believe the death of the 3 yr. old was considered an accident.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 09/29/11 - 04:27 pm
0
0
The common denominator here

The common denominator here is that nobody knows all the testimony and evidence so it's all just semi-baseless arguements.

I have a hard time seeing it as a murder case, but I have just as hard a time figuring out how the child was able to open the little bottle they put the drug in (assuming it's the liquid form and not the pills). I have seen the containers and it is sealed with the really thick metal seal that you have to dig into with a knife to start (liek on a new bottle of Worceshire) and on top of that there is a typical medicine twist cap.

megan burris
0
Points
megan burris 09/29/11 - 04:41 pm
0
0
Like other posters above, I

Like other posters above, I cannot see how this unfortunate woman could have been charged with murder. However, I can see that she did not have the money for a proper defence. Justice should not be a game for prosecutors to build their credentials on. This is a person's life destroyed - completely - for what is at best a negligent accident. And as for a jury taking 35 mins to decide her fate, was there a ball game they were missing?
It is not the first time in recent months that local prosecutors have over-reached in prosecuting a bereft mother. These people are supposed to be there to support Justice - for all.
I hope and pray that some recourse is found for this poor woman. I am at least heartened that the majority of people posting are showing some basic human decency.

KSL
130157
Points
KSL 09/29/11 - 06:07 pm
0
0
At the very least, I hope she

At the very least, I hope she has no more children.

dlnga
40
Points
dlnga 09/30/11 - 02:13 am
0
0
Amen, KSL.

Amen, KSL.

wallfly
0
Points
wallfly 10/16/11 - 06:12 pm
0
0
To clarify some of the

To clarify some of the comments on here. I am the victims uncle and the accused biological brother. She did not have 6 children taken away by children services. The first 4 children that she had were raised by her former husband and are all healthy and are all law abiding citizens in Ohio. The last 2 had involvement with dfcs and were adopted by families voluntarily because of my sisters addiction. For the 3 years prior to her childs death she had been leading a clean lifestyle with the help of the community. Lord knows she wasn't Mom of the year but was trying to clean up and I believe she did not intentionally harm her child. Where is the States responsibility in this and where is her husbands? If she was a danger to herself or her child why did they allow her to take Methadone home and why did her husband leave the child with her if she was unfit. There are some unanswered questions here and the definately deserve to be answered.

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