Prosecutors, defense discuss plea deal for mother accused of leaving baby in dumpster

Althea Johnson

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case of an Austin woman who is accused of leaving her newborn daughter in a dumpster in 2017, are working to negotiate a plea deal after her first trial ended in a mistrial.

Althea Johnson, 29, faces a second-degree felony charge of abandonment of a child after a man found her baby in a dumpster in October 2017. Police followed a trail of blood from the dumpster to Johnson’s apartment on Middle Fiskville Road where she lived with her other children.

Johnson was tried earlier this year but it was declared a mistrial after hours of jury deadlock.

On Thursday, her defense attorney and the prosecutors discussed a possible plea deal with Judge Clifford Brown. The prosecution offered 10 years probation instead of moving to another trial. Though Johnson wasn’t present in the courtroom, her attorney told the judge they intended to make a counter-offer.

If a plea deal is not negotiated, the prosecutors told the judge they intend to re-indict Johnson. Her next hearing will be July 19. If re-indicted, the charge she faces carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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