Russell Johnson

Moraine man convicted of killing baby up for parole after 26 years in prison

Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor John Amos is asking the Ohio Parole Board to keep him behind bars.

The parole board, which has absolute discretion over the case, will consider it at a hearing on Thursday Jan. 24 in Columbus.

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Johnson, now 46, is incarcerated at London Correctional Institution, serving a 15 years to life sentence for the murder of Tabitha Dockery, who died Jan. 21, 1993. At the time of his conviction, Johnson’s family members said the case was based on lies but Jewel Dockery, the baby’s mother, said “My baby can finally rest.”

An autopsy found the infant had been strangled - possibly with a cord or rope - and she had suffered blows to the head at Johnson’s trailer at 4230 Bray Drive in Moraine. Dockery and her daughter lived with Johnson in his trailer along with his brother.

Crime victim advocate Bret Vinocur, of Columbus, said he opposes Johnson’s release on the grounds that “baby killers” are the worst of the worst and a life sentence for them should be until their death.

This will be Johnson’s fourth appearance before the parole board. He had no criminal history before the murder conviction.

Ohio Parole Board records say Johnson has had exceptional conduct since being in prison and is at low-risk for committing another crime.