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Schizophrenic mother thanks medics for saving daughters she tried to drown

She thanked responders before being sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for second-degree murder

By Tony Rizzo
The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Last April, when Johnna Green tried to drown her two young daughters, she was in the delusional throes of schizophrenia.

On Friday, clear-headed and calm, the 24-year-old Kansas City, Kan., woman thanked the first responders and medical professional who saved her little girls’ lives.

Green spoke briefly before she was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in January to two counts of attempted second-degree murder.

“I’m ready to move forward,” Green told Wyandotte County District Judge Mike Grosko.

Grosko followed plea negotiations and sentenced Green to 59 months on each charge, with the sentences to be served consecutively.

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.

Green’s attorney, Paul Morrison, said after Friday’s hearing that in the days after the incident, the girls’ survival was questionable. Their recovery has been a miracle, he said, and both are doing well.

“She is very thankful for that,” Morrison said of Green.

At Green’s plea hearing in January, prosecutors said that Green called 911 last April 2 and told the dispatcher, “I just killed my kids.”

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

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

The officer found the girls unconscious on the floor next to the bathtub. Neither was breathing. He began resuscitation efforts until ambulance crews arrived.

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

Morrison said Friday that Green had begun experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia shortly before the incident, and she recognized something was wrong with her.

“It’s one of the tragic aspects of this case that she was seeking treatment and in the process of getting an evaluation,” he said.

In her “delusional, twisted contorted way of thinking,” he said, she thought she was doing the children a favor by “sending them to Jesus.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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