Mother in Forrest City Draws 26-Year Sentence for Killing Son

FORREST CITY, AR - A mother has drawn a 26-year prison sentence for the beating death of her 4-year-old son.

Roberta Johnson, 24, had been charged with capital murder but pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of second-degree murder.  Deputy Prosecutor Chris Morledge says Johnson has an IQ of less than 50.

On Wednesday, Johnson's boyfriend at the time of the January death, Cornelius Dawson, pleaded guilty to a reduced manslaughter charge and was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Emergency personnel were called to the home shared by Dawson and Johnson after Lamont Hurd stopped breathing.  Emergency workers tried to revive the boy, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital an hour later.

Two other children in the home were placed in state custody.  Officials say those children had marks that indicated similar abuse.

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