Man pleads guilty in death of sister’s baby

Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 11:59 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The man is to return to court to receive his sentence of no more than 25 years.

On Sept. 2, Arkansas man, Don Lee Johnson, 24, of Wickes, admitted to killing a baby boy of three months of age, on May 6, 2020.

It began when Johnson, who is developmentally disabled, ran away from his adoptive parents’ home in South Arkansas. He ended up in Caddo Parish and when his sister learned he was in a shelter she took him into her home.

Johnson would babysit his sister’s two children, an infant boy, and his five-year-old brother.

The infant’s mother found her baby cool to the touch and not breathing on May 6. An autopsy revealed that the child suffered a subdural hematoma, also known as a brain bleed and retinal hemorrhaging. The cause of death was from abusive head trauma and shaken baby syndrome.

On May 1, Johnson admitted to investigators that he had become frustrated with the older child wanting to play outside, which Johnson could not do at the time because he was feeding the victim. In frustration, Johnson slammed the baby’s head into the couch twice, causing a white pus-like substance to drip from the infant’s nose.

Prior to the trial, Johnson was found not competent to stand trial, leading to a year’s delay in the prosecution following a restoration of competency in Jan. 2023.

Johnson will return to court on Nov. 28, where per agreement he will be sentenced to a term not exceeding 25 years.