Laclede County Woman Sentenced After Childs’ Death

A Laclede County woman has received her sentence from 26th Circuit Judge Matthew Hamner after being charged and pleading no contest in connection with the death of a toddler at an unlicensed daycare facility. Naomi Johnson appeared in court on Monday and was sentenced to 120 days of imprisonment, followed by four years of probation under Missouri Statute 559.115; that statute offers a program that focuses on life skills, substance abuse education, and developing a community-based home plan.

The incident occurred on June 3, 2020, when emergency services were called to attend to 1-year-old Kimber McDowell, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Authorities initiated an investigation into the child’s caregiver, Naomi Johnson.

According to court documents, Kimber was swaddled at the time of the incident before being put down for a nap. However, the State Technical Assistance Team Consultant states that swaddling should not be done for infants older than two months. Johnson told officers she put the child to bed for a nap. Investigators say her attention focused on the several other children she was watching before discovering Kimber wasn’t breathing.

The cause of Kimber’s death was determined to be “probable positional asphyxia,” as per the court records.

Johnson was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2nd degree.