Albuquerque father sentenced for child’s 2019 death

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A judge sentenced a man to five years behind bars after his 11-month-old baby was found dead in a motel bathtub.

Moses Johnson learned his fate Thursday. Multiple family members spoke on his behalf in the hearing, talking about how good of a dad he was, and that he did have full custody at the time while the mother struggled with addiction.

Police say it happened in April 2019 when baby Kaleah was found unresponsive in an Albuquerque motel.

On more than one occasion, investigators say Johnson was given multiple chances from the Children, Youth and Families Department — referencing the nine investigations that took place during the baby’s short life.

The state said while they don’t deny that he loved her and did take good care of her from time to time, leaving his daughter in the bathroom unsupervised, with the water running for eight hours was unacceptable, and her death was 100% preventable.

“The defendant did plead guilty to the following events in 2023, abandonment of a child that resulted in the death of a human being that occurred on April 9, 2019, and tampering with evidence in Bernalillo County on or around April 9, 2019,” said Second Judicial District Judge Bruce Fox. 

The defense had several family members lined up to speak about him and the times he showed up for his daughter. 

Johnson’s aunt said he stayed with her in the hospital when she was sick with RSV and would never intentionally hurt her.

Judge Fox agreed with the defense that Johnson did turn his life around since 2019, but he did side with the state that Johnson made a grave mistake leaving his 11-month-old child unsupervised in the bathroom.

Based on the evidence was provided, the judge said probation was not appropriate, and he ordered him to serve five years behind bars. 

Johnson was convicted of tampering with evidence and child abandonment.