A Jackson County jury found Harrell Johnson, 29, guilty of murdering his then fiancée’s 3-year old daughter, cutting off her head, and dumping her remains in the woods. Johnson’s conviction ends the Precious Doe case after almost eight years. Erica Green’s decapitated body was found in 2001. She was nicknamed Precious Doe until she was identified in 2005, when police arrested Johnson and the girl’s mother. Harrell Johnson and Michelle married in 2002.
Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar told the jury in closing arguments that Harrell Johnson is a selfish coward who put himself before his three year old child’s life.
“He’s going to let her die,” he said. “He’s going to take his chances on whether or not he’s ever held responsible for it.”
Michelle Johnson, 33, testified during the trial that Johnson kicked Erica in the head after she refused to go to bed. She said he was high on drugs at the time. They waited several hours for her to die and did not call for help because they both had outstanding warranted at the time. She is already serving her 25-year sentence for her role in Erica’s death .
Defense Attorney Chris Slusher said there is a difference between a reckless act and a murder.
“The evidence in this case has not established that Harrell tended and deliberately wanted Erica Green to die,” he said.
Slusher said they will appeal the verdict.