A former Illinois college student was sentenced to ten years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to carrying out the suffocation death of her newborn infant son.
People magazine reported that the charges against Lindsay Johnson of first-degree murder and concealing a homicidal death were dismissed.
“Lindsay Johnson is not an evil person. This isn’t a case about evil. This is a case about her taking responsibility for her actions, and she’s done that,” her attorney Evan Bruno said.
The case was a particularly disturbing one for many members of the American public when it was reported.
It was on March 13th, 2016, WAND reports, that Lindsay Johnson first came to the attention of campus police, when they were sent to check on a student that had been in the bathroom “for several hours.”
After finding Johnson, who told police that she had the stomach flu but was otherwise okay, they thought that was the end of it. Sadly, police would learn it was only the beginning after receiving reports from the same dorm of the sounds of a baby crying.
In April 2016, it was announced Johnson had been brought up on first-degree murder charges in the case, which authorities have described as “one of the saddest cases they’ve seen.”
Tonight on UI-7 News: Prosecutors speak out about the U of I campus baby murder case involving Lindsay Johnson. pic.twitter.com/lbABJ6G6E6
— ui7news (@ui7news) April 14, 2016
Responding to the report of crying, campus police reportedly found a large pool of blood in the bathroom, but say Johnson, 20, had already left the building.
It would be less than an hour later that they would find the student, and — upon searching her — the body of a newborn boy in her backpack, as police spokesperson Patrick Wade explained:
“Immediately, the child, which unfortunately turned out to be deceased, and the mother…we took them both to the hospital to make sure they got the medical attention they needed.”
After Johnson admitted to giving birth, she initially told police that the baby wasn’t breathing when he was born. But after being told about the witness who heard crying, she admitted this wasn’t true and that she had tried to quiet the infant’s cries by covering his mouth.
She faced multiple charges, including first-degree murder, child endangerment, and concealment of a homicidal death.
U. of I. student delivered baby in dorm bathroom, suffocated it, according to charges. https://t.co/14QVVLC2zX
— Mark LeBien (@marklebien) April 13, 2016
To her friends — who describe Johnson as “very kind” and “your typical high school girl” — the news came as a shock, adding that they hadn’t thought much about the small amount of weight she appeared to have gained “because it was normal for her to dress in baggy sweatpants every day.”
Johnson’s attorney Thomas Bruno noted at the time:
“This is a tragic case and a complicated case. There is much we still need to investigate and we intend to vigorously do so, to try to achieve justice on her behalf.”
The verdict has just been rendered: Lindsay Johnson received ten years in prison for the killing of a newborn baby. Whether or not that is justice is up to the American people to decide.
Editor’s note: This post was updated after publication.