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Records: Man charged with murder facing more charges after 1-year-old son ingests narcotics, dies

David Johnson III is charged with endangering children and possession of cocaine on top of a murder charge from 2021.
Credit: FCSO

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man who is charged with murder from a shooting last year is facing more charges after his 1-year-old son ingested narcotics and died last week.

Franklin County Municipal Court records say David Johnson III and a woman called 911 on Nov. 18 saying his son took an unknown medicine while they were sleeping and he was barely breathing.

Arriving medics took the boy to Nationwide Children's Hospital, but he died a short time later.

Court records say detectives found a large amount of narcotics in various baggies in Johnson's possession:

  • 42.88 grams of crack cocaine
  • 5.49 grams of fentanyl
  • 16.02 grams of meth
  • 3 unidentified orange pills

Officers arrested Johnson and took him to Columbus police headquarters where they said he admitted to selling and having narcotics.

Court records say Johnson and the woman he was with were sleeping in his room when he believes his son took melatonin. Later in the interview, Johnson said the narcotics found on him when he was arrested were on a nightstand next to the bed when they were sleeping.

After the woman ran to the medics, he took the narcotics off the nightstand.
Officers interviewed the woman who said she did not see any narcotics in the bedroom, although court records say the drugs were in her immediate vicinity.

A male who was interviewed about the incident said he was downstairs and didn't see any narcotics either. After he was released, the male texted the child's mother and said he tried to find Narcan to revive her son, according to court records. He also texted saying he ran upstairs to see what happened and said "there was s--- spilled out all on the bed in plain sight where he was sleeping."

Johnson was on house arrest for a murder charge from last year.

The 20-year-old is accused of fatally shooting 26-year-old Derek Ponder during a fight in April 2021 in the Hilltop neighborhood.

Johnson has been charged with child endangerment and possession of cocaine, both of which are felonies, in connection to the death of his son.

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