PRESS RELEASE, 8/22/2006

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office announces a capital indictment in the death of a 7-year-old boy


Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced today the indictment of a man for the death of 7-year-old Milton Baker. Fred Johnson now faces the death penalty.

Johnson, 35, has been indicted on one count of aggravated murder with death specification, two counts of murder, three counts of child endangering and one count of felonious assault for the attack that occurred on Freeman Avenue in the West End. On August 10, 2006 at 11 p.m., Johnson was helping the boy with school work in an upstairs bedroom when the beating took place. The victim was taken to Children’s Hospital, where he died the next day due to massive head injuries.

Latina Stallworth, the victim’s mother, was in the home at the time of the incident. She has also been indicted on one count of child endangering. The defendant was Stallworth’s live-in boyfriend.

Prior to 1997, accused child killers did not face the death penalty under Ohio law.

Two Hamilton County cases changed that law. The murders of Star Hollingsworth (15-months-old) and Matthew Richmond (12-years-old) prompted Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph T. Deters to seek legislation wherein people who purposely kill children under 13 years of age would be eligible for the death penalty. That bill passed in 1997. 

Since July 2005, this is the sixth death penalty indictment returned by a Hamilton County grand jury involving the death of a child.