MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 26-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail in Ramsey Count Court for child neglect in a case where a home he was in with a 22-month-old child smelled so bad neighbors thought someone had died inside.

Clayton Steven Johnson pleaded guilty to child neglect on Feb. 20 in connection with the case. His sentence was for two days in jail, 362 days stayed and two years probation.

According to court documents, police were called to the residence on the 1800 block of County Road B in Maplewood on Feb. 4 on a report of an intoxicated man banging on his landlord’s door. When authorities arrived, they could smell an odor of something rotting and when they opened the door, the smell became overwhelming.

Officers said the residence smelled so bad that they had trouble breathing once inside. Both Johnson and the child’s mother, Rebecca Lee Koecher, had been drinking. Authorities spotted dirty laundry and rotten food, including expired eggs, scattered throughout the residence. Dishes were piled up in the sink and old food was spilled on the stove. Authorities said a bathroom toilet was full of feces and urine, and dirty diapers were found throughout the home.

Authorities said the odor coming from the residence was comparable to a dead rodent, according to court documents.

A health officer later went through the home and found it to be uninhabitable. Koecher was charged in the case and pleaded guilty on March 5. She will be sentenced Thursday.

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