Mom Also Charged Following Death of Toddler Authorities Say Was Punched in Stomach Regularly

Woman's boyfriend charged with injury to a child

By Frank Heinz
|  Saturday, Jun 7, 2014  |  Updated 6:56 AM EDT
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Mom Also Charged After Toddler Son's Death

NBC 5 News

Claudia Johnson, left, and Clezel Montague Mughni, right.

The mother of a 14-month-old boy who died Tuesday after regularly being punched in the stomach is now facing charges alongside her boyfriend, records show.

Dallas County jail records show Claudia L. Johnson was being held Friday on a charge of injury to a child by omission.

Police on Wednesday arrested Clezel Montague Mughni on a charge of injury to a child in the boy's death.

Johnson's 2-year-old daughter underwent emergency surgery Tuesday afternoon after police said she too had been punched in the stomach by her mother's boyfriend. Authorities on Thursday charged Johnson plus added another injury to a child charge against Mughni, who remains jailed, for the girl's alleged beating.

Johnson originally told police her son had been ill, but later changed her story to say she had witnessed Mughni, a large man who stands 6 feet 1 inches tall and weighs about 325 pounds, strike her son with a closed fist at least 30 times over a two-month period when he thought the boy was misbehaving. The woman said her boyfriend always struck her son in his stomach or his side.

In an interview with police, Mughni said the boy had been punched in the stomach and spanked a few times for whining.

The Dallas County medical examiner discovered the boy suffered numerous injuries including a skull fracture, multiple rib fractures, both old and new, liver damage, split intestines, two black eyes and multiple injuries to the legs, buttocks and arms.  The medical examiner said Johnson's injuries are the result of blunt force trauma and were consistent with the reports from Mughni and the witnesses.

No attorney was listed for Johnson, whose bond was set at $25,000 related to the death of her son, Marquis Johnson. An attorney for Mughni didn't immediately return a message Friday.

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