Baby Faith mom loses appeal of 65-year-sentence

Baby Faith mom loses appeal of 65-year-sentence

A court of appeals has ruled that the 65-year-sentence against abused infant Baby Faith's mother, Christine Johson, was proper and will stand, announced Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham Oct. 19.

Aug.18, 2013, when Baby Faith Mason was merely one month old, she was rushed to a Port Arthur hospital when a family member noticed she was having difficulty breathing. Upon examining the infant, doctors made a horrific discovery. The baby was suffering from a brain injury and had sustained more than 40 fractures in the short time since her birth. She was immediately placed in critical condition, and police soon arrested both her mother, Johnson, and father, Darrell Mason. 

The DA's office reports that testimony elicited during Johnson's trial by jury revealed medical professionals worked diligently to stabilize Baby Faith and keep the infant alive. She was transported to the Texas Children’s Hospital by jet in the care of the Kangaroo Crew, a medical specialty team from the medical facility. Doctors at Texas Children’s discovered Baby Faith's numerous injuries and reported their findings to police investigators. Following a thorough investigation, Port Arthur Police Department detectives concluded Baby Faith's parents were responsible for the injuries and, by omission, failed to provide medical care to their young daughter. 

After a week-long trial in August 2015 in which Judge John Stevens presided, a Jefferson County jury found Christine Johnson guilty of Second-Degree Injury to a Child assessing a punishment of twenty years on that charge, and guilty of First-Degree Injury to a Child by Omission assessing a sixty-five year sentence to be served concurrently. 

Johnson appealed the convictions, and the Thirteenth Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi reviewed the appeal. The case had been transferred from the Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont pursuant to a docket equalization order.

Initially, the Thirteenth Court of Appeals reversed the sixty-five year sentence, so the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office requested a rehearing of the decision arguing that the jury’s original sentence was proper. Upon reconsideration, the Thirteenth Court of Appeals agreed with the jury's decision and affirmed the guilty verdicts on both charges that resulted in Christine Johnson’s sentences of twenty and sixty-five years.

Assistant District Attorneys Patrick Knauth and Randi King prosecuted the case at trial. Assistant District Attorney Wayln Thompson and Angela Kneeland litigated the appeal.