ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix father sentenced to 37 years in prison for severely abusing his 3 children

May 30, 2024, 4:45 PM

Dontae Johnson, 33, was sentenced to 37 years in prison for severe child abuse. (via ABC15)...

Dontae Johnson, 33, was sentenced to 37 years in prison for severe child abuse. (via ABC15)

(via ABC15)

PHOENIX — A father from Phoenix was sentenced to 37 years in prison for the severe physical abuse of three small children, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Dontae Johnson, 33, will serve the entirety of his sentence without the possibility for release.

“By his own admission, this defendant beat and shook his three children. One child tragically, after heroic measures by medical professionals, did not survive,” County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a news release. “The abhorrent facts of this case show this defendant has no place in our community because if he can hurt his own children this way, he can hurt anyone else.”

On Feb. 7, 2020, Phoenix police responded to a hospital where staff had indicated three children had been abused.

Twins who were three months old were suffering from “fractured ribs, bleeding in the brain, liver lacerations and were severely dehydrated and malnourished,” according to the news release. A third child, who was 14 months old, had “five rib fractures and a broken finger.”

Johnson admitted he shook the twins multiple times when they wouldn’t stop crying. Multiple surgeries later, one twin died from her injuries and the other now suffers from cerebral palsy among other developmental issues.

He also admitted to “repeatedly hitting and inflicting physical harm” to the 14-month-old child.

“The prosecutors in our Family Violence Bureau combed through thousands of pages of medical records that outlined the complex injuries in this case. Due to their dedication, this defendant has been removed from society,” Mitchell added.

Johnson, who received lifetime supervised probation in addition to his 37 years in prison, pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and two counts of attempted child abuse earlier in the year.

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Phoenix father sentenced to 37 years in prison for severely abusing his 3 children