HOCKING COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – Two people have been charged in the death of a 10-month-old girl who spent three days on life support after suffering multiple severe injuries, the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office said.
According to the sheriff’s office, Daisha L. Sommers, 24, of Logan, and her boyfriend, Jerry K. Johnson IV, 33, of Columbus, have each been charged with one count of third-degree endangering children, but more charges could be filed following the presentation of the investigation’s findings to a grand jury.
The sheriff’s office said that on Sunday, Nov. 20, deputies were notified that the girl was taken to Hocking Valley Community Hospital’s emergency room suffering from extreme trauma and injuries.
Deputies interviewed Sommers and Johnson at the hospital, where they said they heard a loud thud early that morning, finding the child had fallen out of her bed and hit her head. Neither Sommers nor Johnson called 911, instead driving the child to the hospital several hours later, according to the sheriff’s office.
During a second interview, the sheriff’s office said Johnson’s story changed, saying he told investigators the girl was unresponsive and not breathing and that Sommers was away from the home doing laundry. Both Sommers and Johnson allegedly admitted to using drugs that day; Sommers admitted to smoking methamphetamine while Johnson admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking, the sheriff’s office said.
According to the sheriff’s office, the child had extensive bruising to her face and head, and her skull was fractured. The child was placed on life support and transported to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. After three days of showing no brain activity, the girl was declared dead on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
During the investigation, the sheriff’s office said the child’s injuries were inconsistent with falling out of a toddler bed. Doctors found the child had approximately seven skull fractures, bleeding in her stomach, retinal hemorrhages, multiple strokes, and a prolonged cardiac arrest, the sheriff’s office said.
Johnson and Sommers were both taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail and are being held on a $500,000 cash bond each.