Thursday, 21 October 2021 16:17

Rockingham pair indicted on child abuse charges

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Rockingham pair indicted on child abuse charges RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — A man and woman are facing child abuse charges that run parallel to homicide case from earlier in the year.

A grand jury on Oct. 11 indicted Joseph Ray Carroll on two counts of intentional child abuse inflicting serious physical and/or mental injury on the daughters of Michelle Lee Johnson.

According to the indictment, the alleged abuse resulted in post traumatic stress disorder.

Johnson was also indicted the same day on two counts of reckless disregard for life with serious physical or mental injury for allegedly allowing her daughters, by omission or willful act,  to be physically and mentally abused by Carroll.

Both girls were under the age of 16 at the time of the alleged abuse.

Although listed in public court documents, the RO is withholding the girls’ names because they are minors.

Both Carroll and Johnson are facing an open count of murder for the death of Johnson’s son, 15-year-old Casey Glenn Johnson.

According to the autopsy report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the cause of death was blunt force trauma of the head.

The report indicates multiple contusions, ulcerations, abrasions and healed scars on Casey’s body. He was also reportedly underweight.

Also included in the report are details of some of the alleged abuse, which included Carroll asking the mother and one of the daughters to take part.

According to court documents, officers with the Rockingham Police Department responded to a call of an unresponsive juvenile at Carroll’s Biggs Boulevard home on Jan. 20.

Documents show officers first administered Narcan to Casey thinking it was a possible overdose and chest compressions were continued until EMS arrived on scene.

A responding officer then contacted a detective saying Casey was unresponsive and appeared to have been beaten, according to an application for a search warrant.

Casey was sent to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill where he was pronounced brain dead. He died Jan. 23.

Carroll was initially indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 15, four days after he was arrested, for the murder of Johnson. He was indicted again on March 15 to correct a typographical error in his name, documents show.

Michelle Johnson was arrested Feb. 18.

The homicide is being tried as a capital murder case.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.