STIGLER — A baby boy who was not supposed to be left unsupervised with his mother after experiencing a serious head injury and broken bones in her care died in April 2011 after once again being left with her overnight, records reveal.
Randi Meshelle Lunceford, 29, of Stigler has been charged with four felony counts of causing or permitting injury or abuse to a child in connection with the April 12, 2011, death of her 8-month-old baby, Landon Johnson.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday in Haskell County District Court.
A newly released report from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services said it was the baby's biological father — who lived apart from Lunceford — who allowed the overnight visit while the father dealt with an emergency.
Landon suffered several serious injuries in the months leading up to his death, according to the DHS report.
DHS officials said they first received a report of Landon being hurt at the home of his mother's boyfriend on Oct. 18, 2010.
Landon was transferred from a nearby hospital to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa after suffering “nonaccidental head trauma,” the report said.
“Landon reportedly had brain swelling and was admitted in critical condition,” the report said.
The child's mother was “unable to provide any explanation” for Landon's injury, DHS workers reported.
DHS child welfare officials entered a “substantiated” finding of abuse and recommended court intervention “as to the child's near death by an unknown perpetrator and failure to protect” by the mother.
However, the Haskell County district attorney's office, which was led by J.B. Miller at the time, declined to file a deprived petition. Prosecutors said they could not meet their burden of proof based on testimony of available witnesses and there was no indication the evidence was likely to change, the report said.
Landon left the hospital in the care of his mother on Dec. 8, 2010, DHS workers reported.
Less than a month later, on Jan. 2, 2011, DHS received a report that Landon had suffered ankle fractures while in Lunceford's care.
Lunceford “reported that Landon likely obtained the fractures from her performing physical therapy exercises on him,” the report said.
DHS workers substantiated a finding of abuse by Lunceford and once again recommended court intervention.
DHS was granted emergency custody of Landon, who was placed with his father on Jan. 4, 2011.
This time the Haskell County district attorney's office, which was now headed by Farley Ward, followed up by filing a petition alleging that Landon was a deprived child.
Landon was with his father on April 10, 2011, when the father “had an emergency requiring him to leave the home,” DHS reported.
The father asked a relative to stay with the child until the mother could pick him up.
The mother told investigators she placed her son on a machine that monitored his breathing and oxygen levels and he slept through the night. Doctors required the monitor to be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, following the October head injury, according to a court affidavit.
Lunceford stated that she woke up about 5:30 a.m. April 11, 2011, after the monitor went off, but found his heart rate and oxygen levels to be good and turned off the monitor, the report said. About 30 minutes later, she reported getting up to feed him and finding him unresponsive.
Lunceford was able to revive Landon, but he died early the next morning.
The state medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and said Landon died from complications stemming from a blunt traumatic injury to his brain resulting from injuries sustained in October 2010, the DHS report said. The medical examiner also reported finding that Landon had suffered a recent fracture of his left thigh bone that was healing.