Second competency exam ordered for mother charged in death of infant who went days without food

Lovely Johnson competency hearing

WYOMING, MICH. - A second competency evaluation has been approved for a young mother charged in the July death of her son, who police say went days without food while strapped in a car seat at the woman’s Wyoming apartment.

Lovily K. Johnson, 22, is charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the death of six-month-old Noah Edward Johnson.

A judge in July ordered that she undergo an exam to determine if she is competent to stand trial and can assist in her own defense.

“The forensic exam found her competent,’’ Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker told Wyoming District Court Judge Steven M. Timmers on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

A preliminary hearing on the criminal charges was delayed until early December so a second competency exam can be held. It was requested by defense attorney Jonathan Schildgen.

“Mr. Schildgen indicates he wants to request an independent forensic to determine her competency because he has concerns about the report,’’ Becker said. “That’s where we stand at this point in time.’’

“I think that's appropriate,’’ the judge said before adjourning Wednesday's hearing until Dec. 6.

Wyoming police were notified after Johnson arrived with her son at DeVos Children’s Hospital about 2:35 p.m. on July 19. She was arrested several hours later.

“Upon arrival, Noah was clearly deceased and had been for some time,’’ Wyoming Detective Robert Meredith wrote in a probable cause affidavit. “Johnson . . . admitted that Noah was under her care and no one else’s care for the last four days.

“Johnson admitted to being at home multiple times a day during that time frame,’’ Meredith wrote. “She knowingly and intentionally deprived him of the necessities of life by not feeding him. During this time, Noah remained buckled in a car seat on the upper floor of Johnson’s apartment with no air conditioning.’’

Authorities allege the abuse of her son occurred at a home on McKee Avenue near 26th Street SW where she had been staying.

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