The Richmond Register

February 6, 2014

Grand jury indicts woman on child abuse charges

Police say 3- and 5-year-old were in room with dead body


Register Staff Report

RICHMOND — A Madison grand jury indicted an Ohio woman Wednesday on two counts of first-degree criminal abuse after police discovered her children in a room with her boyfriend’s dead body last year.

Kristen Johnson, 22, of Franklin, Ohio, also was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The indictment alleges that Johnson’s 3- and 5-year-old sons were being kept in a room “with cocaine, drug paraphernalia, and a dead body, thereby placing (them) in a situation that might have caused (them) death or serious physical injury ...”

Police originally charged Johnson with first-degree wanton endangerment, which is a Class D felony. However, the Madison grand jury chose Wednesday to indict her on the criminal abuse charges, which carry a stiffer penalty of five to 10 years in prison.

Richmond officers were sent to a home in the Dixie Plaza Motor Home Park at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 30 after getting a report of an unresponsive 24-year-old man, according to an RPD news release. The officers found the man on the bedroom floor, and he did not have a pulse and was not breathing, they said.

The officers were unable to revive him.

Police investigated and found that the man had ingested several drugs during the night and may have died from a drug overdose, the report stated.

Johnson was at the home and identified herself as the man’s girlfriend. The officers searched the residence and reported finding suspected crack cocaine in plain view on a bedside table along with other drug use paraphernalia.

The officers also found a glass pipe in Johnson’s purse and a syringe with liquid residue in her boots, according to the report.

Johnson was lodged in the Madison County Detention Center but was released Dec. 16, according to online jail records.

Other indictments handed down Wednesday includee:

• Rickie L. Adams, 32; Joseph Paul Chestnut, 23; and Jonathan Michael Chestnut, 22, conspiracy to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (oxycodone), conspiracy to second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (hydrocodone), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (ocycodone, Adams) and possession of drug paraphernalia (Joseph Chestnut)

• Roger Ferguson, 32, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone), possession of drug paraphernalia and aggravated operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs (first offense)

• Travis Lee Fuson, 35, first-degree promoting contraband (oxycodone), tampering with physical evidence, theft by unlawful taking (under $500)

• Brandon James Smith, 32, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, violation of a domestic violence order, fourth-degree assault, third-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree criminal mischief, intimidating a witness, tampering with a witness and solicitation of tampering with physical evidence

• Misty Dawn Melton, 20, and Wanda Sue Melton, 46, theft by unlawful taking (more than $500), second-degree disorderly conduct (Misty Melton) and possession of burglary tools (Wanda Melton)

• Michael Gerald Murphy, 24, promoting contraband in the first degree, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of of drug paraphernalia, operating a motor vehicle while impaired, possession of marijuana and operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license

• Vernon Lee Parker Jr., 49; Mark Jackson, 44; Robert Lee Lamb, 51; and Rhonda Sue Crabtree, 35, manufacturing methamphetamine. Park and Crabtree also were charged first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine); Crabtree was charged with second-degree and third-degree possession of a controlled substance (hyrdocodone and alprazolam), and Parker was charged with tampering with physical evidence and first-degree persistent felony offender

• Christy Lynn Robar, 38, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication

• Christopher Ray Steele, 32, four counts of second-degree trafficking in a control substance (hyrdocodone)

• Kateina Marie Perry, 41, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), possession of drug paraphernalia and operating a motor vehicle while impaired

• John L. Newland III, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, theft by deception and first-degree persistent felony offender

• Bobby Dale Samples, 26, second-degree burglary and third-degree burglary

• Angela Dawn Gentry, 37, first-degree bail jumping

• Robert Wesley Davis, 39, flagrant nonsupport

• William Scott Hall, 30, four counts of use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activity

• Amanda Nichole Griffey, 21, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument

• Joshua Luke Slone, 34, second-degree assault

• Aaron Jacob Stinson, 30, two counts of second-degree assault and first-degree unlawful imprisonment.

An indictment is a formal statement of charges and does not imply guilt, only that grand jurors believe the state has enough evidence to prosecute.