Stepmom charged after 9-year-old screams ‘Mom’s trying to kill me’

Boy flees into elementary school, principal witnesses threat

A 24-year-old Dayton’s Bluff woman is charged with making terroristic threats to her 9-year-old stepson, and for maliciously punishing him.

On March 25, after school let out, the young boy ran into Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School reportedly panicked, fearing for his life and fleeing from his stepmother.

Screaming for help

According to the Ramsey County attorney’s office, the school’s principal told police that the 9-year-old, who’d celebrated his birthday only five days earlier, ran into the building without any shoes on, crying hysterically and screaming “My mom is trying to kill me.”

The boy was reportedly chased into the school by his stepmother, 24-year-old Tashay Caprice Johnson, who was heard yelling “I’m going to kill you.”

The school’s principal, Lena Christiansen, told police she intercepted Johnson, refusing to let her follow the child until the circumstances could be better understood.

Police reported to the school around 3:50 p.m. and spoke with the 9-year-old boy, who had visible swelling on his head, with a mark running from his left ear towards his left temple.

Police noted that he also had several welts on his arm that appeared to have been made by a belt, and scratches on his head and neck.

Alleged weapons: bat, belt

The boy told police he’d been walked home by a teacher, due to some behavioral problems the boy had that day.

At the home, the boy’s stepmother and the teacher spoke, and afterwards, the boy told police that Johnson said he was going to get a “whooping.”

The boy said that Johnson then struck him in the head with a blue baseball bat that was sitting atop a kitchen cabinet, and also struck him on the arm with a gold belt.

The criminal complaint states that Johnson, still frustrated with the boy, told him “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to grab the gun and kill you.” She was reportedly referring to guns that a relative hides in the garage.

The boy then fled to the school.

Police: Father threatens violence

When officers arrived at Johnson’s house, she told police she’d spoken with the boy’s teacher.

“Prior to having been asked about assaulting the boy, Johnson said ‘I never hit him,’” the complaint states.

Police then asked Johnson if there was a blue bat in the house, which she helped them find. Police then arrested Johnson.

At that point, the boy’s father said to police that the arrest was “bullshit,” and said “I’m going to beat that kid’s ass next time I see him. I whoop that kid, but it doesn’t do any good.”

Johnson told police that her stepson is developmentally delayed, and that he had been brought home from school by the teacher over behavioral problems.

She then called the boy’s father to tell him, and the father told Johnson to have the boy squat in the corner as punishment.

She told police she tried this tactic, but that the boy kept running around the house.

Johnson said she then threatened to call the boy’s father, after which the boy ran towards the school.

She told police she could have cut the boy’s lip trying to grab him as he fled, but offered no explanation for the boy’s various injuries. She denied hitting him with any objects, and denied threatening to kill him.

Johnson appeared in court Friday, March 27 at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center.

-- Patrick Larkin


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