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FORT SMITH -- The mother of an 18-month-old girl whose live-in boyfriend is charged in the baby's death was arrested Tuesday, accused of knowing that her daughter was being abused and allowing it to continue, according to the prosecuting attorney's office.

Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue announced Tuesday that he has charged Sierra Ann Johnson, 20, in a warrant with permitting abuse of a minor, a felony. She was being held in the Sebastian County jail in lieu of $7,500 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in circuit court Feb. 21, Shue said in a news release.

Johnson's boyfriend, Tyree La'Mont Williams, 25, was charged last week with first-degree murder in the death of the baby a week after Williams and Johnson took the unconscious child to the Sparks Regional Medical Center emergency room, where doctors were unable to resuscitate her.

A medical examiner determined that the baby died from injuries to her abdomen and noted that she showed bruising from previous abuse. Under questioning by police, Williams admitted punching the baby in the stomach "a couple of times," according to reports.

A probable-cause affidavit that Shue released Tuesday said Johnson admitted that she left her daughter in Williams' care "while knowing he was a marijuana dealer, knowing that he had abused her (the defendant) in the past."

Johnson said in the affidavit that Williams once yanked the child violently by the arm while in public and that several times she saw him take the baby into a room where she could hear the blows of him spanking her and the baby crying.

She said she also observed bruises on the baby's body that had been inflicted by Williams, according to the affidavit.

"The defendant continued to leave her 18-month-old child with Tyree Williams (while she worked as a prostitute) although she knew all these things about Williams' character," the affidavit said.

Williams was not the baby's father, the affidavit said. Johnson told police that the baby's father had confronted her about the abuse, the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, Johnson also told police about a violent episode involving Williams in which a marijuana deal had gone bad. She said the would-be purchaser of the marijuana shot Williams in the hand, robbed him and took one of his guns.

NW News on 02/14/2018

Print Headline: Mom of fatally beaten girl accused of allowing abuse

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