Posted Sept. 14, 2007 – The mother of the pretty little Black girl known as “Precious Doe,” who in 2001 stood by as her husband kicked her baby to death, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder. She also pleaded to child endangerment, abandoning a corpse and tampering with evidence for not helping her daughter as she lay dying.
In the plea deal, Michelle Johnson, 31, of Muskogee, Okla., has agreed to testify against her husband, Harrell Johnson, who is charged with first-degree murder.
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For her cooperation, Michelle is looking at a maximum of 25 years (instead of life), while prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Harrell.
Prosecutors say Harrell was stoned on drugs when he kicked his 3-year-old stepdaughter, Erica Michelle Marie Green, because she wouldn't go to bed. He left her to die and later decapitated her and buried her in a plastic bag. Her headless body was found in a Kansas City park in 2001, but she was unidentified until 2005, when a relative gave a tip to police.
The child drew national attention because of the level of cruelty, and the public dubbed her “Precious Doe.”
At the time, a funeral held for the unknown Precious Doe drew hundreds. The body was exhumed in 2003, so that a lifelike clay bust could be made to help authorities find out who she was. A new funeral was then held for her in 2005.
Harrell Johnson's trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 22.