criminal stupidity

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

parents who lack parenting skills, neglect, self absorbed. homicide , criminal consequences.


This tragic story of child neglect and murder is based on the story of two parents, Arhonda Tillman ( Florida) and Regis Johnson (Florida ). The tragedy could have been prevented.


The father Johnson called 911 after discovering the child wasn't breathing. The girl was reportedly found by authorities in an inflatable swimming pool being used as a playpen.

During an interview, Tillman, the mother, reportedly called for help earlier, but 911  had been busy.


 What intelligent adult lays a child, their child in a playpen at 5:00 or 5:30 am.while they dress for their daily employment and they prepare breakfast? Have these parents not heard of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? 


 Why were these parents using an inflatable pool for their child's playpen?  This was an accidental suffocation waiting to happen. Why would any intelligent adult leave their child unsupervised? Where were the priorities in this family?


Regis Johnson told the sheriff and other authorities "the baby ate a sandwich ... and some chicken nuggets,"sheriff Judd said at a briefing Thursday, but there was no food in the child's stomach upon medical examination.


According to Johnson, the victim hadn’t wanted to eat much for the past two days, and when he tried to feed her she would only take a few bites. The mother could have tried alternative formulas, evaporated milk with clear corn  syrup and water.


Why didn't they take their child to the doctor or emergency room? The mother was receiving Medicaid for the child. The father was employed as a car salesman with his brother Frank Robinson at Car Getters. Even if the parents couldn't pay, the ER is obligated to provide reasonable emergency care. There were options something could have and should have been done. Starvation wasn't the only option.


There was adequate food in the house and the adults appeared well-fed. The household received SNAP. The family received AFDC.and WIC. During the time this child suffered from what the deputy coroner termed prolonged starvation. Most families received three stimulus checks. I got my stimulus. I bet they did too.


The father,Regis, weighed 214 pounds. Her mother Arhonda weighed 144 pounds. They were apparently well fed as was the uncle Frank Johnson..what are these adults thinking? Where is their compassion?.


During interviews, Johnson, the toddler’s father, told detectives that when the child was born doctors believed she may share a muscular dystrophy gene with her mother. According to the. Father the child also was believed to have multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis additional traits shared with the mother. My stomach is churning. The neglect of any child is inexcusable but, to neglect a special needs child is inexcusable in the highest degree.


The doctor made several attempts to reach out to the parents, to return with the child for more definitive testing. The phone calls were not returned.


The Department of Children and Families launched a medical neglect investigation on Dec. 10, 2019, which determined the victim was losing weight and her parents didn’t seek necessary medical care. As a result of the investigation, Johnson was ordered to make a follow-up appointment with the girl’s doctor, and the investigation was closed.


The Department of Children and Families should have the staff and resources to stay with this family. The file should not have been closed when this child successfully gained 3 additional pounds. These parents appear to need someone to hold their hands and show them how to effectively parent. After the DCF closed the investigation the child gained one ounce in 24 months.


records show the baby was born healthy in 2019 with a birth weight of 6 pounds, 10 ounces. In 24 months the child gained 1 ounce. According to both parents the baby could not walk, she could not stand or pull up on furniture but she could crawl. 


This being believed to be the case, Medical attention should have been priority #1.I believe I or any intelligent adult would have camped out in doctor's office after doctor's office until I had answers and the child continued to show improvement.


Regis Johnson admitted to detectives that he knew his daughter was “not gaining weight and not developing as normal.” He further said that he “knew the victim was losing weight and was not thriving” and did not seek medical attention.


My comment is Why? How did he see a problem with his child and not take action to remedy the problem. This is unfathomable in my mind.


Johnson and Tillman were arrested for aggravated child neglect resulting in injury or harm to a child.They are currently being held without bond. 


On Thursday, May 12, the Sheriff’s Office announced 64-year-old Frank Robinson was arrested for child abuse causing great harm and failure to report child abuse in connection to the case. Robinson, Johnson’s brother, lived in the house with Johnson and Tillman.


Submitted: June 27, 2022

© Copyright 2023 M.L.Williamson Hume. All rights reserved.

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