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KCK woman pleads guilty in attempted drowning of two daughters

Updated: 2014-01-09T23:18:07Z

By TONY RIZZO

The Kansas City Star

A Kansas City, Kan., woman admitted Thursday that she tried to kill her two young daughters last year by holding them underwater until they were unconscious.

Johnna Green, 24, pleaded guilty in Wyandotte County District Court to two counts of attempted second-degree murder.

She initially was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder after the incident last April involving the 1- and 4-year-old girls, but she pleaded guilty to the lesser charges as part of a plea agreement.

Under terms of the agreement, prosecutors and defense attorney Paul Morrison anticipate that based on Green’s lack of a criminal record, they will recommend a sentence of nine years and 10 months in prison. District Judge Mike Grosko scheduled sentencing for Feb. 28.

After charges were filed, Green underwent a psychological exam that determined she was competent to stand trial. On Thursday, she said that she was taking medication for mental health issues but that it did not affect her ability to understand the court proceedings.

According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Edmond Brancart, Green called 911 on April 2 and told the dispatcher, “I just killed my kids.”

When the dispatcher asked how, Green replied, “I drowned them.”

“They were sick,” Green told the dispatcher when asked why she had done it. When she told the dispatcher that the children were still in the bathtub, the dispatcher asked her to take them out.

When the first police officer arrived at the residence in the 2900 block of South 52nd Street, he said Green was pacing and repeated that she had drowned the children, Brancart said.

The officer found the girls unconscious on the floor next to the bathtub. Neither was breathing, and he began resuscitation attempts until ambulance crews arrived. Attorneys on Thursday did not discuss the girls’ current health conditions.

After the incident, Green told detectives that she had “perceived” that the girls were “having difficulty with concentrating” and she wanted to prevent that, Brancart said. She said she filled the tub with water, then put the girls in and held them underwater until they stopped breathing.

On Thursday, Grosko asked Green if that is what happened.

“From what I recall,” she said. “Yes, your honor.”

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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