Iowa Man Charged with Child Endangerment in Death of 4 Year Old
Austin Johnson of Des Moines had previously been charged with child endangerment once. He admitted to shaking a five-month-old so hard that the baby suffered multiple brain bleeds. He's now facing a second count that, somehow, exceeds the severity of his first charge.
Johnson is now facing a second child endangerment charge resulting in the death of a four-year-old he was babysitting in February of 2021.
WHO13 elaborates on what happened: "A search warrant in the case said Johnson called 911 at 2:59 p.m. on February 20, 2021, and reported a four-year-old child he was babysitting had fallen and was unresponsive. Emergency crews responded to the call at a home in the 1400 block of E. 9th Street. The child was taken to Blank Children’s hospital where he was pronounced dead."
The search warrant said that Johnson told law enforcement he was carrying the child up the stairs when he fell back down and landed on top of the child. Police told WHO13 that the young boy died of his blunt force injuries.
During the following investigation, the Des Moines Police Department determined that it was Johnson's actions that resulted in the death of the child. This information came out this morning -- October 13 -- from the Des Moines-based news station.
The 29-year-old was already in jail for the aforementioned case of child endangerment in which he shook an infant.
WHO13 explains further on the case: "A criminal complaint filed in that case said Johnson admitted to shaking a five-month-old child in his care for several seconds on September 11th. Hospital staff told investigators the multiple brain bleeds the child experienced were due to non-accidental trauma."
Des Moines Police told We Are Iowa that "both investigations have been referred to the Polk County Attorney’s Office for prosecution."