WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Wyoming mother accused of leaving her 6-month-old alone for days, leading to his death, will undergo a psychiatric exam.
On Wednesday, a judge ordered Johnson to undergo an examination by a state psychiatric expert. The defense could also have a separate expert preform an exam. The goal is to determine whether Johnson is competent to stand trial and can be held legally responsible for her actions.
In the end, it may be up to a jury to decide where the case falls on the line between insanity and depravity.
Johnson had already lost custody of one child and was wanted on a warrant when she was arrested for Noah’s death.
A year ago, she stood in a Kentwood courtroom and pleaded guilty to stealing from the Woodland Mall. Court records show she never did any of the things she was supposed to do under the terms of her probation, including community service, paying $896 in fines and costs and attending counseling. A bench warrant was issued.
In early July, two weeks before he died in his mother’s apartment, police found Noah alone in a vehicle parked outside a Wyoming video store. The vehicle, which did not belong to Johnson, had marijuana and a skull-shaped pipe in it, police said. Wyoming police say they called Children’s Protective Services and Kentwood police. Neither agency called for her to be detained, so Wyoming officers returned the boy to his mother and let her go.
CPS says it does not always have someone immediately available to investigate and that it relies on local law enforcement to remove children from obvious situations of danger.
The fact that there was no one else to take custody of the child and that the warrant out of Kentwood was for a shoplifting case led Wyoming police to release Johnson with a warning.
Sixteen days later, around 2:20 a.m. July 19, she brought the decomposing 12-pound body of her son to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.