Drowning Death Ruled Accidental Despite Killer’s Confession

Authorities in Kansas City have ruled the death of 19-month-old Jermane Johnson Jr. an accident even though someone has admitted to holding his head underwater with intent to kill. This is because the someone in question is a 5-year-old girl.

The 5-year-old told detectives that she pulled Jermane into the tub to drown him “because he doesn’t go to sleep.” The oldest person in the house at the time of the drowning was a 16-year-old girl with a mental disability. Due to the circumstances, the pathologist on the case wrote that Jermane “drowned in a bathtub while without appropriate adult supervision at the home,” in the autopsy report.

Rather than prosecute the girl, the authorities referred the case to the Jackson County Family Court so she could get counseling.

I can understand why the authorities would be reluctant to prosecute someone so young. But, at the same time, she did kill someone — on purpose. And regardless of her age, there’s a family out there who has been denied justice for the death of their child. Not only that, but by ruling the drowning an accident the authorities might prevent the family from receiving benefits to pay for the funeral because the crime victim’s compensation fund does not help in cases that are considered accidents.

Metier Law Firm – Denver Accident Attorneys