When police answered a call for an unresponsive child at a home in the 1600 block of North Smallwood Street in West Baltimore last week, the parents of 5-month-old Emmanuel Johnson claimed he had been injured falling off of a bed.
"Well, the bed was only about a foot off the ground,” said Chief T.J. Smith of Baltimore Police Media Relations. “Once the autopsy was completed, it was discovered that the baby had significant head trauma that wasn't consistent with a fall from a foot off a bed."
They soon determined Emmanuel's father, 31-year-old Perry Nelson-Johnson, had used the same guide stick, which helped him overcome his blindness, to beat the child to death, but for those who wondered why the child's mother never intervened, police have now charged her in connection with this case as well.
"The saddest part of this is what we've learned as this incident continues to unfold is the mother saw and observed some things days before little Emmanuel was eventually pronounced deceased,” said Smith. “It looks like this kid just suffered his entire five months on this Earth."
Angelique Petty, 27, has a checkered past, which includes prostitution, assault and weapons charges in recent years, and while she's not charged with murder in this case, detectives discovered evidence that she knowingly endangered the infant.
"There were some situations that presented themselves days before the child died and they weren't addressed. He wasn't given medical attention and he should have been,” said Smith. “It's sad. It's sad to think about a child being on this Earth for just five short months and the pain and suffering that he went through for probably the entire time."
Petty faces a series of charges including first degree assault and abuse resulting in death.