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Posted on Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Woman accused of killing baby while driving drunk is free on bond

By John Counts


Constance Johnson

Courtesy of WCSO

A 37-year-old Ypsilanti Township woman accused of killing her 6-week-old son while driving drunk was released from jail on a personal recognizance bond when arraigned on homicide charges earlier this month, court records indicate.

Constance Johnson was charged April 5 with homicide with a motor vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, operating while intoxicated causing death, operating with a suspended license causing death, second-degree child abuse and open alcohol container in a vehicle.

Police say Johnson was driving a mini-van east on Foley Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Oct. 7 in Ypsilanti Township when she struck a pickup truck parked on the side of the road. Johnson and her 6-week-old son, Isiah Caddell, were the only two people in the vehicle. The baby was in a standard car carrier, but it was in the front seat and not strapped in, said Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

The impact caused the air bags to deploy.

"The child suffered head trauma," Fox said.

As paramedics and police were responding to the accident, dispatch received a call from a home in the 1300 block of Andrea Street right around the corner regarding a baby not breathing. Responders found the 6-week-old was alive but injured. The baby was transported to the University of Michigan Hospital and remained there until he died on Oct. 13 due to skull fractures and brain injuries, Fox said.

Investigators at the scene quickly discovered the car accident and medical call were connected. Johnson was tested for chemicals at that time, but police did not immediately release the results.

Johnson was arrested April 4 and charged the next day. Fox said police needed time to investigate the case and get test results before charges could be brought.

Magistrate Elisha Fink gave Johnson a $1,000 personal recognizance bond at arraignment. Such a bond allows the defendant to get out of jail on a promise to appear in court. The defendant has to pay the bond to the court if he or she fails to appear.

Johnson was also appointed a public defender at arraignment.

On April 23, Johnson stood mute to the charges and waived her preliminary examination. Her bond was continued by Judge Charles Pope at that hearing, according to court records. She is set to appear before Judge David Swartz on May 30 for a pretrial hearing.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Julie Baker

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 6 p.m.

We're closing comments on this story due to the high number of inappropriate or off-topic comments. You can email if you have questions.

Andy T

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

I really don't think that this woman getting freed is a cause for such concern. Do you really think she's heading home to get a jump on planning that 'My Negligence Killed My Child' Party? We all make mistakes in our lives, and this is one that she will pay for dearly, in many ways, for the rest of her life. From jail time to what I'm sure is guilt that would make one wonder if that's a life worth continuing with...going home to await trial for this crime is no picnic.


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

Thats not an mistake its down right negelect and no concern for her child. it wasnt an mistake she choose it.

music to my ear

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

God took that little baby back, and gave him to a loving home


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.

It says: Magistrate Elisha Fink gave Johnson a $1,000 personal recognizance bond at arraignment. Did I miss something here we have a dead child? She has no License and I can very well guess why and she get basically NO BOND? I trust that will change if or when she shows up in Circuit Court.


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

What a shame that the baby wasn't restrained safely & correctly in the back seat. Is there any information on whether the injuries were caused by the airbag? Was the baby ejected from the vehicle? The article mentions that the car seat was not installed, but was the baby strapped into the car seat?


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.


The Kingpin

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

Isn't Mag. Fink the same person who let an armed robber out on bond a few weeks back?


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

She will be in prison for quite some time with those charges. Being in the county jail now would reduce the amount of time in prison . Maybe it's better she spend her whole sentence in the state prison system.


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

totally agree she needs to be held responsibe for her actions the baby cant speake for it self what about his life should count for something


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.



Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

My reaction exactly. How she got released I have no idea.

Joseph Maino

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

She's out for free!!!!!! How is she out?!!!! This is absurd!!!!


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

Bail/bond is set not as a punitive measure, but to ensure that the individual will show up for court hearings. It seems like the judge did not deem her a flight risk.

music to my ear

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

I just dont get it.

Dirty Mouth

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

Personal recognizance bond? Why not just give her medal?


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

Yeah, "mother of the year"..........


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

This is so sad for another little child that did nothing wrong! We need to do something in this State dealing with drugs, guns and drinking and driving. To many people are dying for no good reason!


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

I agree 100% That poor innocent baby...

Paula Gardner

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

This story is heartbreaking. John, any idea where she was coming from at that hour with the baby?

John Counts

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

Police did not release where she was coming from, but did say she was likely headed to her residence right around the block from where the accident occurred.

John Counts

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:51 a.m.

The typo has been fixed. Thanks.

John Counts

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

It sometimes takes our system a few minutes to catch up when a change is made in a story.


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

n , better get some glasses.

Susan Montgomery

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 11:02 a.m.

How very sad.. Ummm.. It still reads "The child suffered heard trauma,"

Little Patience

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

Rest in peace, little angel. :(

Dan r OBryan

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

she should be locked up.


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:22 a.m.

"The child suffered heard trauma," Fox said.


Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:14 a.m.

Shouldn't it say "child suffered head trauma?" This story makes me so sad.