GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kent County jury will continue deliberations Thursday in the case of a Wyoming woman accused of leaving her baby in a hot apartment until he died.
Lovily Johnson, 23, is standing trial on charges of first-degree child abuse and murder in the 2017 death of her son Noah. Jurors deliberated for about 45 minutes Wednesday, but didn't reach a verdict. They will reconvene Thursday morning.
During testimony earlier Wednesday, jurors were shown a photo of a stained onesie where Noah died in July of 2017. Crime scene investigator Julia Carmody said it “had a strong smell of decomposition.”
Jurors were also shown graphic photos of the state of the child and the condition of the apartment where he was allegedly neglected for three days before his death. Carmody said the apartment was 92 degrees on the night Noah's body was taken to the hospital.
A Children's Protective Services investigator told jurors that she had told Johnson how to safely care for her child two weeks before he died after Noah was left in an unlocked car while Johnson picked out DVDs inside of a Family Video.
The final prosecution witness called to the stand was Kent County Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cohle, who said Noah was so dehydrated that there was no fluid in his eye to even test for dehydration.
“This is a child who died of neglect, starvation — who was clearly not cared for and there was no other reason for the baby to die,” Cohle said. “This is absolutely not (sudden infant death syndrome).”
Defense attorney Jonathan Schildgen has argued there is no proof of precisely how Noah died and suggested he could have died of SIDS or another cause. When Cohle was called to the stand, Schildgen attacked his credibility, saying he changed his testimony since a probable cause examination in February.