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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A criminal complaint from May states how desperate 26-year-old Jaitlyn Johnson was to get a call or text back from a man in California. He told police they had dated briefly and he wasn’t the baby’s father. After repeated unanswered calls, police say she sent him text messages saying, “Pick up your phone, or I will suffocate my son.” She also sent texts saying “Ok, let me record suffocating him then” and “This is going to be the best feeling in the world.”
Police say she then sent the man a video. The infant is okay but it shows his mother covering him with a pillow for several seconds. The baby is heard crying hysterically.
The man called the Albuquerque Police Department to check on Johnson and the infant at a motel on Central near Tramway. Johnson was charged with child abuse and extortion. She took off to California where she was arrested and brought back to New Mexico.
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She faced Judge Joseph Montano where the District Attorney’s office fought to keep her locked up. “The main concern is the safety of the child or any child if she’s willing to hurt her own child for something so small because somebody won’t text message her back or call her back. What else would you do to somebody else or to another child,” said Savannah Brandenburg-Koch, Assistant District Attorney. Judge Montano decided to let her out on an ankle monitor.
The Public Defender’s Office sent this statement:
These are not the choices you’d make if you were in your right mind. It was easy for police to see that Ms. Johnson needed help. Ms. Johnson has no access to her child and will be under stringent conditions when she is released from jail, including getting the mental health treatment she needs. As to the allegation of fleeing, when she traveled to California to be with her support system, neither the charges nor a warrant existed.Sarah Pepin, Jaitlyn Johnson’s attorney