Father suspected of killing infant son

Published 4:27 am Wednesday, February 23, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
The Atmore Police Department is currently piecing together the events leading up to the murder of a six month baby Sunday morning.
The infant's father, Christopher Thomas Johnson, 33, of Atmore, was arrested and charged with capital murder in the death of his son Elias Ocean Johnson. According to published reports, police allege that Johnson beat, bit and asphyxiated the child after a night of drinking with friends.
"The injuries that were discovered definitely appeared that the child had been physically abused," Atmore Investigator Chuck Brooks said Monday morning. "At this time an autopsy is being performed on the child and the cause of death has not yet been determined."
At approximately 9:17 a.m. Sunday morning, the APD responded to a 911 call to 103 West Horner Street Apartment B where it had been reported that a male infant was not breathing and non responsive, Brooks said. APD officers along with medics from Atmore Ambulance Service responded to the scene, where the child was transported to Atmore Community Hospital. An intensive effort to revive the child was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m.
No foul play was suspected at the scene of the incident until hospital officials contacted APD officers after visible injuries to the child were observed. Upon arrival, investigators noted the injuries and immediately called in a forensic unit and began a criminal investigation into the child's death.
Following an extensive investigation, Christopher Thomas Johnson was arrested around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. He is currently being held in the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton, where he was transferred Monday morning. He was denied bail following a hearing on Tuesday.
Brooks said details leading up to the child's death can not be released due to the ongoing investigation.
"We'll definitely be looking at medical records trying to get a complete medical history of child and of the father," Brooks said. "He also has an extensive criminal record."
According to police reports, Christopher Johnson has been arrested numerous times on various charges including armed robbery in Pensacola, larceny in Florida, burglary, theft, public intoxication, criminal trespassing and numerous failure to appear charges.
Capital murder is a Class A felony and is punishable by death or life in prison without parole.

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