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Settlement reached in ‘Precious Doe’ lawsuit

Updated: 2013-03-01T02:36:46Z

The Associated Press

A settlement has been reached in the case of an Oklahoma man who sued the state and an Oklahoma hospital over the death of his daughter, a Kansas City murder victim known as Precious Doe.

Larry Green filed the lawsuit in 2010, nine years after the young girl’s beheaded body was found in a wooded area near 59th Street and Kensington Avenue. She was eventually identified as Erica Green.

Named in the suit were the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the state Department of Corrections and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center.

Larry Green’s attorneys, Paul DeMuro and Sarah Poston, said the settlement includes an unspecified payment and calls for the three entities to develop procedures to be known as Erica’s Rule to ensure that babies born to prison inmates are referred to DHS for placement in a safe home.

“That was the primary goal of this lawsuit,” the attorneys said in a statement.

Erica was born at the OU Medical Center in 1997 while her mother, Michelle Johnson, was in prison. Documents show the child was first placed in the custody of a family friend and later returned to the mother and Harrell Johnson, her then-boyfriend and later her husband.

Authorities say the child was taken to Kansas City, where Harrell Johnson killed Erica with a kick to the head. Both Johnsons are serving prison terms in the case.

DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell said the settlement is primarily an agreement between the corrections department and the hospital, which was dismissed from the original lawsuit.

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