LR Man Charged with Murder after Death of Infant Son

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LITTLE ROCK, AR — A man has been charged with murder after a medical examiner determined that injuries to his infant son were inflicted intentionally.

The Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) says 23-year-old Joseph Johnson, Sr. turned himself in after learning there was a warrant for his arrest in connection to the death of his 1-year-old son, Joseph Johnson, Jr.

Officers responded to Chimney Rock place on June 3 around 9:30 p.m., where Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) informed them that nearly half of the infant’s body was covered in second and third-degree burns from hot water, according to LRPD.

Johnson reportedly told police that since he was always working, he’d never given his son a bath and he wanted to help out while his wife was away, so he decided to bathe him, but the boy started screaming when Johnson put him in the bathtub, unaware that the water was too hot.

Although MEMS told the responding officer in the initial report that the infant did not have any life-threatening injuries, he was airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead more than two weeks later.

According to the initial LRPD incident report, “the incident appeared to be an accident from what officers investigated,” but the medical examiner later ruled that the boys injuries were intentional, turning the case into a homicide.

After surrendering, Johnson was taken to the Pulaski County Jail, where he was charged with first-degree murder.

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