Man who threw baby sentenced to 10 years

Published on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
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Blaine resident Melvin Charles Johnson, 32, pled guilty as charged to first degree assault of a child on June 3 and will serve 10 years in prison for throwing his infant son against the floor last Halloween.

Charging documents state that Johnson threw the 4-month-old child onto the living room floor in a fit of rage after the child vomited in his car seat as the family was leaving to go trick-or-treating. According to the prosecutor, the force of the impact “essentially shattered” the child’s skull. 

The child’s mother was at work when the incident happened.

Johnson sent her a video from his cellphone, noting that the child seemed lethargic and wasn’t acting right. When the baby became unresponsive later that evening, the couple rushed him to St. Joseph’s hospital after which he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. 

X-rays showed fresh cracks in the child’s skull, as well as a separate skull fracture and two broken ribs on the mend, according to the charges. 

Johnson did not initially admit to injuring the child, instead suggesting that one of the baby’s older siblings “must have tripped and fallen” on him. After investigators explained that the severity of the injuries made that scenario impossible, Johnson tearfully confessed his misdeed to the police, claiming he wasn’t thinking clearly because they were in a hurry, according to court documents. 

Johnson has been charged with a class A felony. He did not have a history of violent crime in the state of Washington. There were no charges filed related to the previous injuries.