CHICAGO (STMW) – A south suburban woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the alleged operator of a babysitting facility where her 20-month-old daughter was abused in 2009.

Amanda Alexander claims Melvin S. Johnson killed her 20-month-old daughter when he hit her Aug. 31, 2009, at Sandra Johnson’s home babysitting and daycare facility at 723 W. 155th Court in Phoenix, according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. Melvin and Sandra Johnson both lived at the home.

Daneah Cousins, 20 months, of Sauk Village, was pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 2, 2009, at Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

An autopsy determined Cousins died of cranio cerebral injuries from blunt head trauma and child abuse, the medical examiner’s office said. The death was ruled a homicide.

Melvin S. Johnson was charged with murder Oct. 11, 2010. He is being held in Cook County Jail on $1 million bond, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office website. His next scheduled court date is June 22.

A law-enforcement source said it took about a year to bring charges against Johnson partly because investigators were waiting on results from laboratory tests.

At the time she was fatally injured, Melvin S. Johnson was baby-sitting Daneah at the Phoenix home, police said. He was dating her mother, identified in the suit as Amanda Alexander, who was at work and lived in south suburban Sauk Village, police said.

The suit claims Sandra Johnson failed to provide proper supervision for the contact between Melvin S. Johnson and the baby. It also claims she failed to provide prompt and adequate care after Daneah was struck.

The two-count suit is seeking more than $200,000 plus the cost of the suit from Sandra Johnson. Nobody answered the phone at Johnson’s home Tuesday night.

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