GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Wyoming woman accused of leaving her baby to die in a stifling apartment, still strapped in his car seat, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said Lovily Johnson entered the plea Tuesday. Becker says his office in turn agreed to a sentence within the guidelines of 15 to 25 years, and the judge said he would not sentence beyond the mid-point of the guidelines.
Johnson's plea comes less than two weeks before her second trial was scheduled for the death of 6-month-old Noah. The infant died in July 2017 after being trapped in his car seat for three days while Johnson went out, shopped and smoked. When the 23-year-old mom returned home to find him not breathing, she took baby Noah to the hospital.
An emergency room doctor testified last week that by that point, Noah had already been dead for some time.
The medical examiner said Noah was starved and dehydrated and that he died of neglect. However, Johnson's attorney argued there's no proof of that. The suggested other possible causes of death that the medical examiner said were not likely.
Johnson was originally charged with murder and first-degree child abuse. The jury in her first trial deliberated for more than five days before the judge declared they couldn’t reach a decision. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said this was the longest deliberation he's ever experienced.