Mother of Crawford’s sons in prison for child endangerment

LeeCee Johnson
LeeCee Johnson

The mother of John Crawford III’s children is serving a prison sentence for child endangerment for leaving her four children — the youngest of which was then just 2 weeks old — unattended on a Cincinnati city street in March.

LeeCee Johnson, 35, is serving an 18-month sentence at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. A federal judge granted a joint motion by the Crawford family attorneys and defendants’ attorneys to depose her while in prison. Attorney Michael Wright deposed Johnson today.

Crawford, 22, of Fairfield, died Aug. 5, 2014 when he was shot to death by Beavercreek police in a Walmart. Police said he didn’t respond to put down what looked like a weapon.

Crawford had an unboxed BB/pellet rifle he picked up from a store shelf when he was shot twice by Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams after a lone 911 caller said he saw a black man waving a rife at customers.

The Crawford family attorney said Crawford had a third of a second to respond to any verbal instructions before Williams shot. When he was shot, Crawford was on the phone with Johnson — the mother of his two sons.

Police and court records indicate that Johnson’s four children then aged 4, 3, 2 and 2 weeks — were found unattended March 30 on a Cincinnati city street more than a block away from Johnson’s residence.

“Police arrived … after receiving a call from a reportee stating that there were four children walking along and a 4-year-old was holding an infant child,” a police report said. “The caller pulled her car over to check on the well-being of the children.”

Johnson was indicted on four counts of fourth-degree child endangering but reached a plea deal in July in which two counts were dismissed. The sentences of 12 months and six months were ordered to be served consecutively.

Johnson’s prison term is scheduled to expire Jan. 31, 2018, but she could get out by Oct. 14, 2017 with good behavior, according to the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction.

John Crawford Jr. currently has custody of his grandsons.

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