Notice that you have to wade through 14 paragraphs before you find out that dad ALVIN JOHNSON was in a "custody dispute" with the child's mother, and that Dad had, at the time of his 3-year-old son's death, actual custody of the child. And that he had enjoyed said custody for just two months. Just two months. That's all it took before Daddy got into a "rage" over something--soiled pants?--and managed to kill the child.
Not answered here at all: What judge gave this crazy idiot custody? Who else testified on Daddy's behalf?
What we have here is additional proof as to how easy it has become for abuser criminal daddies to get child custody. And how the media consistently buries the real story.
Jurors to decide if father meant to kill child
By Jill Nolin • November 18, 2010
A jury will return this morning to decide whether a Montgomery man intentionally killed his 3-year-old son in 2008.
The jury in the capital murder trial of Alvin Johnson, 38, of Alta Road, deliberated for about two hours Wednesday afternoon before deciding to return this morning. If the jury finds Johnson responsible for the child's death, he could be convicted of either capital murder or the lesser charges of reckless manslaughter or criminally negligent hom icide.
Defense at torneys main tain that Johnson accidentally killed his son C.J. on May 1, 2008, but prosecutors argue that the defendant knew what he was doing when he inflicted harm on the young boy.
The victim died as result of an internal head injury.
"This is not negligent. This is not reckless. This was the intentional killing of Chad Johnson," deputy district attorney Kevin Davidson said to the jurors in his closing argument. "Whether he planned it or it was a spur of the moment thing, we don't know. Doesn't matter. Intent can be formed in an instant."
The bulk of the state's evidence against Johnson relies on medical evidence and the testimony of another inmate charged with capital murder. Defense attorney William Whatley encouraged the jurors to dismiss the fellow inmate's claims in their minds, citing his questionable credibility as a "jailhouse snitch."
Joshua Ward, a 29-year-old Prattville man, testified that Johnson told him that he killed his son in a rage and made sure he was dead -- before he drove him to the hospital so he could look like a caring father.
Ward testified that Johnson threw the boy against the wall and did something to him in the bathroom, but said he could not remember what Johnson said about the bathroom. The forensic evidence shows that the boy's head was hit against a hard object, but it is not known what, according to prosecutors.
The defense argued that Ward would lie to win the favor of Judge Tracy McCooey, who will preisde in Ward's case.
"A snitch is a snitch is a snitch is a snitch. That's what (Ward) is," Whatley said.
Ward is accused of shooting Demetrius Shuford to death and attempting to kill Amanda Evans, who was shot in the head, in March of 2008. Right now, his jury trial is set for February.
But deputy district attorney Scott Green told the jury that Ward's situation actually gives him an incentive to be honest, since he would not want to risk having McCooey see him as a dishonest person.
But even without Ward's testimony, Davidson said he believes the state's argument is strong enough to show that the boy's death was more than a mere accident. A medical specialist testified that "several tragic events" brought about the boy's death, saying further that the action would have to be on par with being ejected from a vehicle or falling several stories.
Johnson and the child's mother were separated and engaged in a custody dispute over the boy, who may have been someone else's biological child. Johnson saw his attorney the day of C.J.'s death to discuss the issue. The child had only been in Johnson's care for about two months.
"Does it make sense to kill a child that you're fighting to keep," Whatley said in his closing argument.
Johnson, who declined to testify in the trial, also gave inconsistent statements to the police, which Whatley dismissed as a lack of education on his client's part.
"Because you are not well-educated does not make you an evil person. It certainly doesn't make you a killer," Whatley said. "Alvin is not a Rhodes Scholar, but that's not a reason to say he intentionally did this."