Affidavit: Casper Couple Extremely ‘Stoned’ When Baby Suffocated
An affidavit of probable cause alleges that a man told police that he and his girlfriend were "stoned out of their gourds" when their baby suffocated to death nearby.
Talon Jacob Johnson and Rebecca Marie Green are both charged with two counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and child endangerment. For his part in the infant's death, Johnson is facing an additional charge of manslaughter.
Court documents filed this week in Natrona County Circuit Court say the infant was born in 2019. Manslaughter is punishable by up to 20 years in prison while child endangerment with methamphetamine carries a 5-year prison sentence.
Simple child endangerment is a misdemeanor.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, a Casper police detective was called to Wyoming Medical Center the night of Feb. 3 to investigate the suspicious death of an infant.
The affidavit states that the infant had marks on his face, chest and stomach that suggested he was lying face-down at the time of his death and had been in that position for some time. The detective also noted the infant had dirty fingernails and toenails, dirty hands and had feces around his waist, buttocks, legs and genital area.
A doctor who assisted in the investigation noted that no CPR had been done on the baby and that the baby was suffering from vitamin deficiency and was in a "general state of malnutrition," court documents state.
An autopsy revealed that the baby had several bruises on his brain that were roughly two or three weeks old. A newer injury was found on the infant's brain. All of the infant's brain injuries were consistent with having been shaken.
The affidavit states that the baby's brain injuries were non-fatal and that he instead died from suffocation.
According to the affidavit, Green told police that Johnson took the majority of childcare duties on Feb. 2 and that they alternated "rest days." At roughly 10:30 p.m. that night, the affidavit states, Green and Johnson "cuddled" on the couch and watched Netflix. During that time, they placed the infant on the opposite end of the couch lying face0down with his head to the side, the affidavit states.
Eventually, Green and Johnson went to their bedroom and left the infant sleeping on the couch. Green reportedly told investigators she did that because the baby was sleeping soundly and she did not want to disturb him, the affidavit states.
Speaking with investigators, Johnson allegedly said that life with his two small kids was more exhausting than any other job and that he used marijuana to take the edge off.
Johnson allegedly told investigators that he woke up to his other son and, when he checked on the infant who died, he found him to be cold to the touch and unresponsive.
"Johnson advised that it took about three minutes for the family to get ready, clean snow off their vehicle and drive to the Wyoming Medical Center ER," a detective writes in the affidavit. "When asked why no one called 911, Johnson said that he knew (the infant) was dead because he was cold to the touch."
Johnson also allegedly admitted to doing two hits of marijuana wax, which he described to investigators as "dangerous" due to its extreme potency, the affidavit states. He further stated that much marijuana "knocked him out straight up out cold" and that he passes out to the point where he cannot hear the television.
The detective asked Johnson about statements that he made regarding the infant's death being his fault. Elaborating, Johnson told the detective that he and Green were "stoned out of their gourds."
The affidavit states that Johnson seemed "dumbfounded" when he was told the infant had head injuries that were consistent with being shaken violently. Johnson reportedly said that the person responsible for the baby's injuries should get counseling.
According to the affidavit, police and Department of Family Services investigators inspected Johnson and Green's home and discovered "immediately threatening" living conditions due to "the overwhelming smell of animal urine. The floors were covered in grime and in some areas, there was smeared animal feces on the floor and soiled diapers on the floor in the living room. The child's high chair, which was located in the living room area, was covered in rotten food and there were knives laying around that were accessible (to an infant.)," the affidavit states.
Johnson also admitted to smoking methamphetamine with Green while their children were in the home.
The affidavit states that their 19-month-old infant was seen by a Doctor on February 5. It was the first time the child had seen a doctor since he was 23 days old. The infant had no immunizations and showed signs of developmental delays.
That infant was placed in protective custody.