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Ashkea Johnson Murder Trial Underway in Staunton - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Ashkea Johnson Murder Trial Underway in Staunton

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Ashkea Johnson faces first degree murder and attempted murder charges. Ashkea Johnson faces first degree murder and attempted murder charges.

A Staunton jury will return Friday to continue hearing the case against a teenage mom accused of smothering her baby daughter to death with a plastic bag. Ashkea Johnson faces first degree murder and attempted murder charges.

The 18-year-old Johnson sat emotionless during most of Thursday's trial testimony. It's the same, quote "surprisingly calm" 17-year-old mom that rescue crews and doctors described seeing on November 15, 2009.

First responders found Johnson's lifeless two month old baby daughter, Rosaleeia in a North Central Avenue apartment. Four days later, Rosaleeia died at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

In a three hour interrogation video played for jurors Thursday, Johnson confessed to suffocating her daughter with a plastic diaper bag, while saying, "Stop crying. Please stop crying." She admitted trying to do the same thing one week earlier.

Prosecutors are painting Johnson as a cold blooded killer who wanted to get rid of her daughter Rosaleeia. Her attorneys argue that investigators pressured a stressed 17-year-old mom into the confession with no forensic evidence of a murder.

Day one of the trial wrapped up late Thursday evening. The jury of eight women and four men will return Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. where they'll hear from five more witnesses. The case is expected to go to the jury by late Friday afternoon.

If convicted of first degree murder, Johnson could face life in prison. Johnson did start crying while watching part of the confession tape. Several jurors were seen wiping away tears as well.

Reported by Matt Talhelm
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