MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 27-year-old Hibbing man struck a plea deal with prosecutors after admitting to causing the death of a 2-year-old girl in 2012.
The St. Louis County Attorney’s office says Russell Shannon Johnson pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of Caroline Shenze Marie Medicine-Chavez.
Johnson was originally charged last August with second-degree murder while committing felony malicious punishment of a child.
Police were called to a home in Virginia on March 21, 2012 on a report of an unresponsive girl. Officers found the girl gasping for air in a bedroom. She died the next day at a Duluth hospital.
An autopsy found the girl had died from closed head trauma. Johnson was not implicated until last July, when a Virginia woman told police he had tearfully confessed to her that he pushed the girl into a wall because he was “cranky,” and she was a “really whiny kid.”
Sentencing is scheduled for the morning of July 9.