Woman Who Battered Child Into Brain Damage Gets 18 Years

(STMW) — Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. imposed an 18-year sentence for aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent for an East Chicago woman who beat her 2-year-old child, causing a permanent, lifelong disability.

Stefaniak suspended one year of the sentence for Melissa Ramos Johnson, 29, who admitted she assaulted her son Elijah throughout the day on April 21, 2010 at a home in the 3800 block of Elm Street, East Chicago.

Johnson slapped the child, causing him to fall and hit his head on the coffee table. Throughout the day she whipped him on the buttocks and struck him with a house shoe on the butt.

The child suffered severe head injuries and spent months in a rehabilitation hospital. Elijah has permanent brain damage as a result of the attack.

Johnson also admitted she failed to get the baby prompt medical care.

Deputy prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz argued for the maximum 20-year sentence and called the crime “a senseless, brutal attack on a child.” Johnson was on probation at the time for burglary and robbery in Georgia.

Defense attorney Samuel Vazanellis noted his client had an undiagnosed mental illness and is deeply remorseful for her actions. Vazanellis also cited his client’s strong family support, as evidenced by several letters written on her behalf and a petition circulated by fellow church members.

Fourteen other charges were dismissed under terms of the plea agreement.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Coco

    I do not understand the CRJ system, this child has permanent brain damage, why did she recieve 18 years… the child has a life sentence, she should have the same.. period!

    I cannot believe that after the fact they discover she a mental illness?

    Why was this woman allowed to have a child?

    Condoms, condoms, condoms!!

    Should be given out asap at every street corner!!

    Why do we keep having children,
    if all we are going to do is abuse them or kill them?

    We are the only species that kill everything else including our own!!

    • THEE Yard Ape

      FORCED STERILIZATION, PERIOD!!!!! You actually expect any species of minority or white trash to wear a “jimmy cap”?? I hope you enjoy living in your jelly bean patch!!!

    • Lyndia

      I be passing out dem condoms on all the street corners I be working.

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