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Michigan Mom Allegedly Claims SpongeBob Told Her Through The TV To Kill Her 3-Year-Old Daughter
The body of 3-year-old Sutton M. Mosser was discovered Sept. 17 by Justine Johnson's brothers, who testified in court that they discovered a small foot sticking out of a trash bag inside their Michigan home.
A Michigan mom allegedly told authorities she believed SpongeBob instructed her to kill her 3-year-old daughter through the television while she was on drugs and hallucinating.
Justine Johnson, 22, is now facing charges of felony murder and first-degree child abuse after the body of her daughter, Sutton M. Mosser, was found in September shoved into trash bags at her family’s northern Michigan home, according to CNN.
Ryan Eberline, an investigator with Child Protective Services, testified during a preliminary hearing on Friday that Justine told him although she “didn’t remember the specifics” of what happened to her daughter because she was hallucinating from heroin withdrawal and a lack of sleep, that she believed she was getting messages from the TV, telling her “to take her daughter’s life or they would kill her,” MLive reports.
“It was SpongeBob who was saying these things on the TV,” Eberline testified. “If she didn’t do what she did to her daughter they would kill her. She said she was afraid for her life and she had lost her mind.”
Justine had also done cocaine the day investigators say she stabbed her young daughter to death—just two days after Sutton’s 3rd birthday.
Despite having her own apartment, Justine and her daughter had been staying at her parent’s house, along with her two brothers at their Oscoda Township home so that her family members could help her care for the young girl, according to a police report obtained by CNN.
Her brother, Knesley Johnson, who was the first witness called to the stand on Friday, recounted the last time that he had seen his niece on Sept. 16 before he left for work. Knesley described his interaction with both Sutton and Justine as typical, but when he returned home early the next morning around 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m. he was unable to find his sister or niece.
Knesley testified that he asked his younger brother where Sutton was and his brother went to search the house, discovering a human foot sticking out of a bag at the back of the house, MLive reports.
Justine’s younger brother, who was not identified by name since he was just 17 years old, also took the stand to testify about how he woke up around 6 p.m. on Sept. 16 and discovered his sister allegedly “doing lines” in the bathroom.
He asked her where Sutton was, but he said she rebuffed him.
“She said, ‘Mind your own [expletive]ing business.’ But that’s like her normal response,” he said in court.
He left for the beach a short time later. When he returned around 10 p.m., he testified that no one else was home and he didn’t realize his niece was missing until Knesley came home hours later.
After discovering what looked like a foot emerging from a bag, the siblings contacted their uncle and the three called 911.
“The caller stated they had found a foot on their porch,” Oscoda Township Police Officer Gerald Soboleski testified.
After arriving at the scene, Soboleski said he asked the siblings direct him to the back of the house, where he discovered a blue plastic tote and two garbage bags.
One of the bags had a small child’s foot sticking out of it.
“I felt the bottom of the child’s foot. It was cold to the touch, and EMS was called to the scene,” he said.
Shane Hill, a forensic scientist with the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, testified that inside the trash bag investigators discovered Sutton’s body. It had been wrapped in a comforter and placed inside the bag, along with a pair of blood-stained jeans. A black sweatshirt was also found at the bottom of the blue tote, which allegedly seemed to match one that Justine had been captured wearing that day in surveillance videos, MLive reports.
Hill said authorities also found three knives in a bedroom and bloodstains on couches in the living room, a hallway closet door and on some items in a bedroom.
Investigators also found blood in Justine’s apartment, but Hill testified that he believed the young girl had been killed inside the home.
Justine allegedly told police that after killing her daughter, she had gone to her own apartment where she tried to take her own life, according to the report. She had been walking back to her mother’s house when she was arrested by police.
During the preliminary hearing, Dr. Jaya L. Sankaran, the Iosco County medical examiner, testified that Sutton had been stabbed in the neck and chest.
Justine’s mother told CNN that her daughter was being portrayed “as someone she is not.”
“My daughter loved her child,” she said.
Throughout Friday’s hearing, Justine, who has pleaded not guilty, broke down into sobs. After each of her brothers testified, she told them that she loved them as they passed by her in the courtroom.
A pre-trial hearing in the case has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 28.
If convicted, she could be facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole.