Judge declares mistrial in 2017 dumpster baby case

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of Althea Johnson. Johnson is accused of throwing her baby into a dumpster at a North Austin apartment complex in 2017. 

The jury began deliberations around 4 p.m. on Friday, April 12.

After a few hours, the jury said they needed clarification on the definition of abandonment. A few minutes later, they said they didn't believe any further discussion would be able to make them come to a unanimous decision, according to FOX 7's Destiny Chance. 



 A man was dumpster-diving at the Mira Vista Apartments on Middle Fiskville Road in North Austin on a cold October morning in 2017 when he discovered the newborn in the dumpster, according to the Austin Police Department. ATCEMS described the child as blue-grey in color with the placenta still attached. The baby had a low pulse rate so they had to do chest compressions and ventilate.

Austin police investigators spotted blood outside the dumpster, blood on the sidewalk and blood outside of an apartment door. So officers performed a welfare check on the residence.

Althea Johnson denied she had even given birth initially when speaking with police in 2017. During questioning days later, she told investigators the baby was hers but she had just put the child in the bushes. Later that same week, Johnson admitted to police officers that she did put her newborn child in the dumpster.

Earlier this week, Johnson's attorney told the jury that Johnson, who is a mother of three, was in an abusive relationship. Attorney Krista Chacona also said Johnson worked long hours and claims the birth of the child was a surprise.

“I’m going to repeat that, because Althea Johnson unexpectedly give birth, because she did not know she was pregnant, and ladies I know that’s hard to believe,” said Chacona.

The jury was also told Johnson dosen't remember going to the dumpster.

Or why she put the baby in it.



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