Fairfield father to stand trial on child abuse charges

By From page A6 | February 26, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A 26-year-old Fairfield man was ordered Tuesday to face a jury trial for felony child abuse charges for the critical injuries he allegedly inflicted on his 3-month-old son.

Kristopher R. Johnson had an overnight visit with his infant son on Sept. 15, 2013, at his Eagle Way home. When he returned the boy to the mother the next day, she quickly noticed the infant was acting differently. She also noticed a red swelling on the side of his small head, prompting her to take her son to the emergency room, according to testimony at Johnson’s two-day probable cause hearing.

Within a few hours, doctors discovered the baby boy had multiple skull fractures, a broken collarbone, bleeding and bruising in his brain and that his brain had ruptured the protective membrane coating his cracked skull. The severity of the infant’s injuries led local doctors to rush the child to a Sacramento hospital, where brain surgery was done before he was hospitalized for nearly two weeks.

Detectives testified that Johnson called the baby’s mother while she was at the hospital and that he blamed any injuries on her. A detective with the mother used a small tape recorder to record the call.

When detectives interviewed Johnson, he initially insisted nothing bad had happened during his son’s visit and that the baby, who could not yet stand or crawl, had spent almost the entire visit sleeping in a bedroom bassinet.

Later in the interview, Johnson changed his story, saying he had been in the bathroom when he heard the sound of the bassinet tumbling over. After washing his hands, he said he went into the bedroom and found the baby under the bassinet, according to police testimony.

When detectives searched Johnson’s home, they found the bassinet had a bent leg but that it was still sturdy. A pediatrician testified that a fall onto a carpeted floor could not cause injuries as severe as those suffered by the baby. The pediatrician testified the injuries were almost certainly caused by a slamming type of trauma.

Judge Robert Fracchia ended the hearing by ordering Johnson to stand trial on felony charges of child endangerment and corporal injury to a child. Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned March 11. He has been in jail since his arrest a few days after his son was critically injured.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 7 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeFebruary 26, 2014 - 1:15 am

    Sounds like he didnt want to pay child support! While all men are not created equal, most shouldn't be left unsupervised with a baby under 6 months. There's a reason it's called the fourth trimester. Poor child.

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  • Blanca BotwinFebruary 26, 2014 - 5:03 am

    This story makes me very thankful for my ex husband-my son's father. We may not get along at times, but I know with every fiber of my soul, he would never hurt our son. This is unbelievably sad. I can't imagine how the mother feels, and how she felt when she got her baby back. Thank God she acted immediately, and the injuries were found. There is nothing wrong with wanting a father for your child, and allowing the father to see the child, since it takes two, but I'd never let him see the child again, as long as I was alive. That includes when he's out of jail and this county gives him visitation, because you know they will! This is so sad. Hoping things turn around for the better, for mom and baby.

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  • riishaJanuary 16, 2015 - 1:36 pm

    He will never get rights to my son again he need cared and ever will

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  • just a thoughtFebruary 26, 2014 - 10:04 am

    Skeptic, as a man who has raised his son since his mother left at about 6 weeks old, your comment offends me. The men I know as well as myself are all dedicated fathers. Sure some complain about paying what we may consider outrageous amounts of child support, but they are great fathers all the same. You talk of the fourth trimester well I think I have heard of far more mothers injuring or worse killing babies during this period. Stories pop up all the time about a mother suffering from post partum blues doing the unthinkable. Whenever something like this happens to a child it is tragic regardless of who does it. But maybe your right? Lets just continue the stone age thinking that a child belongs to his mother and men are all monsters who should be kept at bay.

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  • riishaJanuary 16, 2015 - 1:40 pm

    Skeptic for one it had nothing to do with child support so before you start assuming please know your facts

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 26, 2014 - 7:29 am

    A defenseless child battered about. There is no good excuse for this guy to stick around. None. Bullet, done.

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  • BFebruary 26, 2014 - 8:02 am

    If a dog harms a child we put it down without hesitation. If an adult harms a child we give him a comfy life for a few years and then release them to do it again. Odd how that works.

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