Baby Faith's mother gets new trial date

Christine Johnson and Baby Faith

A trial date of June 30 has been set for Christine Johnson, the mother accused of the sustained and acute abuse of her daughter, Baby Faith Mason, in August 2013.

Baby Faith Mason captured the attention and the hearts of Southeast Texans after it was revealed that the 1-month-old victim of traumatic child abuse had suffered a total of 19 fractures during her brief life.

Shortly after midnight Aug. 18, 2013, a severely injured Baby Faith was brought into the emergency room of Christus St. Mary’s Hospital at 3600 Gates Boulevard in Port Arthur. Port Arthur Police reported she had life-threatening injuries “indicative of abuse.”

In an interview with The Examiner just after the incident, CPS spokesperson Shari Pulliam said the child suffered from two broken arms, two broken legs, a broken neck, a dislocated shoulder, a black eye and a “severe brain-bleed caused by blunt force trauma,” among other injuries. After doing all they could at St. Mary’s, doctors sent Baby Faith to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston via helicopter where her injuries were confirmed and treated. CPS immediately took custody.

According to the affidavit, during a video interview Johnson admitted she had been angry with her baby for crying while she was trying to sleep.

The affidavit reads, “Christine Johnson … knowingly and intentionally jerked her premature one-month-old child, Faith Mason, causing her neck to break and also causing Faith to suffer serious brain injury. … She reached into the baby’s bed and angrily jerked her out of bed by the arms.”

The affidavit indicates a relative of Johnson’s, Angel Fields, “forced Christine to take Faith to the hospital.”

After seeing the video, Baby Faith’s doctor confirmed that some of the infant’s injuries, such as her broken neck and arm along with her head trauma, could have been caused by Johnson jerking her out of bed by the arm.

Johnson and Mason were both arrested Sept. 27, 2013, on charges of injury to a child and taken to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility. Johnson remains in custody on a $250,000 bond.

Angel Fields said she has not heard any word of Baby Faith’s condition nor has she seen her since the infant was placed with CPS.

“I would love to see her,” Fields said in an interview with The Examiner. She went on to say she was “jumping for joy” when she heard reports Christine Johnson was soon going to face justice.

In an interview April 30, Pulliam with CPS said Baby Faith is in good hands and is healing.

“Baby Faith is doing very well,” Pulliam reports. “She is still with her foster family in Houston. She has made exceptional progress. She is kicking and cooing, making hand movements. We are still not sure about her vision and hearing. She does still have to wear a neck and back brace, but she is able to be held and to sit in a car seat. We are really pleased with her progress, as are her doctors. Her foster parent is a nurse and is taking exceptional care of her.”

On April 28, Johnson was scheduled to appear in court. Instead, after a meeting with the defense and prosecuting attorneys, presiding Judge John Stevens set the case for trial on June 30 at 9 a.m. in the Jefferson County Criminal District Court.

 

Sharon Brooks can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at sharon [at] theexaminer [dot] com.

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