A five-year-old boy high on cocaine shot his toddler brother in the head, and prosecutors have charged their parents with neglect.
The boy, who has not been named, shot and killed his little brother, Isiah Johnson – who had marijuana in his system – back in March at the family’s home in Lafayette, Indiana.
Deonta Jermaine Johnson, 27, and Shatia Tiara Welch, 24, have been charged with neglect and various drug charges after cops swooped on their property.
Prosecutors say little Isiah, 16 months, died from a gunshot wound to the head and had marijuana in his blood, while his older brother, who shot him, tested positive for cocaine.
Johnson was asleep inside the apartment at the time of the shooting. Welsh, a nursing graduate, was not present during the incident, according to authorities.
Initially, Johnson told police Isiah fell or was injured by his brother and denied owning a gun.
He claimed Isiah had not been shot before admitting the children’s mother, Welch, had a gun on the property.
Welch confirmed she owned the gun but told police that she usually kept it locked in a box under her bed but had lost a second set of keys to it.
Police found a gun in the safe under a bed but also found a gun in the drawer of a dresser on the property.
Johnson also faces a charge of obstruction of justice for removing marijuana from the apartment before police arrived after the shooting.
Surveillance footage caught him placing a bag into a car after the shooting – police searched the vehicle and found marijuana.
Officers also found 93 fentanyl pills, marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the apartment when they searched it after the horror.
Both Welch and Johnson were arrested on July 24, with the boys’ mother posting on social media how much she missed Isiah.
Isiah, 16 months, died from a gunshot wound to the head and had marijuana in his blood, while his older brother, who shot him, tested positive for cocaine
Welch confirmed that she owned the gun but told police that she usually kept it locked in a box under her bed but had lost a second set of keys to it
In a July 3 post on Facebook Welch said: ‘I wish heaven had visiting hours cause Isiah I’m missing you not a day go by mommy don’t think about you.
‘I miss you soo much I’ll give it all up just to hold you again to tell you I love you just to smell you more time what is life without you.’
She then posted on April 15, the day of Isiah’s funeral, saying: ‘Today has been the hardest day of my life.
‘HOW Tf do I say goodbye to my son my one-year-old baby? S*** so crazy I lost my best friend March 28th my life will NEVER be the same.’
Both parents remain in custody, and await extradition to Lafayette after being arrested in LaPorte City, 80 miles north of Tippecanoe County.
Isiah’s parents are facing between 20 to 40 years in prison, and a fine of $10,000 in relation to the felony neglect charges
Welch posted on Facebook the day of the toddler’s funeral calling him her ‘best friend’ in the world
Police found a gun in the safe under a bed but also found a gun in the drawer of a dresser on the property
Welch and Johnson have been charged with neglect resulting in death, two counts of neglect and neglect resulting in bodily injury.
They have also been charged with conspiracy to commit dealing a narcotic drug, dealing a narcotic drug, possession of a narcotic, conspiracy to commit dealing marijuana, dealing marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.
Isiah’s parents are facing between 20 to 40 years in prison, and a fine of $10,000 in relation to the felony neglect charges.
The Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office will make the final charging decisions.