Mum stabbed her own toddler 17 times ‘on orders from SpongeBob SquarePants’

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    A mum who killed her three-year-old "on orders from SpongeBob SquarePants" will spend the rest of her life in jail.

    Justine M. Johnson, 23, was handed a life sentence without the possibility of parole after she stabbed Sutton Marie Mosser 17 times just two days after she celebrated her third birthday.

    Prosecutors said Johnson’s brother came across a bin bag with a child’s foot sticking out of it at Johnson's home in Oscoda Township, Michigan, in the early hours of September 17 and called the police.

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    Officers arriving at the scene recovered Sutton's body from the bag but Johnson was no longer at the scene.

    She was found four-and-a-half hours later and was taken into custody, where police probed her about their gruesome find. She responded by saying she didn't want to discuss the topic and was arrested.

    At a preliminary hearing Child Protective Services (CPS) Investigator Ryan Eberline told the court Johnson confessed to being at her mother’s house where she and her daughter lived at the time.

    Johnson told Eberline she went outside and had fallen asleep in a nearby graveyard.

    When she woke up again Johnson said she returned home and attempted suicide before killing her daughter, reportedly under the illusion she had been told to by SpongeBob.

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    "She told me that she didn’t remember the specifics of what happened at the time of what happened to Sutton, that she was experiencing hallucinations due to heroin withdrawal and not sleeping for approximately two weeks," Eberline said in court.

    "She was getting hallucinations from the TV that had instructed her to take her daughter’s life or they would kill her."

    Johnson admitted she had suffered hallucinations prior to her daughter's death and couldn't remember her mum leaving Sutton alone with her or any details about the grisly murder.

    She claimed she only found out about the slaughter after police told her what had happened and spent the four months afterward experiencing more hallucinations before mental health medication began working.

    "I want everyone to know that I am full of remorse and wish every day that I could trade places with [my daughter]," she said.

    Johnson also told the court she suffered from a number of mental health issues for which she hadn't been taking medication.

    She also admitted using illegal substances prior to the incident.

    Johnson pleaded guilty last month to one count of first-degree felony murder and one count of first-degree child abuse relating to her daughter's death on September 16, 2021, saying she was motivated to do so because she wanted "justice" for her daughter.

    "Any mother would want justice. I also want justice for Sutton," Johnson said.

    "If it was me who committed this murder I expect to be punished as any other person would be. It is what’s fair for her."

    Johnson closed her statement saying: "I love you, Sutton Marie."

    Iosco County Prosecutor James A. Bacarella told the court the crime was "something truly insidious".

    In addition to her life sentence, Johnson was also given a maximum of 50 years on the child abuse charge to be served concurrent to the life sentence.

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