WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 10, 2010, 08:07 AM

Fergus Falls family wants a new law after losing a child to a horrific crime

Fergus Falls, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A family in Fergus Falls, still racked with grief over the death of their daughter, now hopes your pressure on the Minnesota legislature will spare other parents from living the nightmare of losing a child during a horrific crime.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

It was nearly four years ago that 2-year old Emily Johnson was killed at her daycare. The teen-age son of the provider was found responsible but never served time for the crime because he was 13. After trying for three legislative sessions to "put some bite" into charges relating to heinous juvenile crime, the parents of Emily have taken a new route.

As a young mother, Lynne Johnson never imagined she would find herself in the middle of legislative hearings, specials interest groups, and politicians.

“It has become a Democrat/Republican thing and we are not like that.”

But after trying unsuccessfully three times to change the age a juvenile can be charged as an adult from 14-to 13, Lynn is now asking lawmakers to now consider a change in EJJ or Extended Juvenille Jurisdiction. It's simple; you commit a crime like the senseless killing of Emily….

“You are given two sentences and if you fail on any of the probation on the juvenile sentence then you are imposed that adult sentence.”

As for the teenager who confessed he sexually assaulted then killed 2-year old Emily by throwing her into a wall, he is in the public schools in the Twin Cities.

“I am not asking that people be thrown away in jail forever, but I am sorry but in the next 6-9 months the state of Minnesota will have no hold on the person who intentionally killed my daughter and this is not fair.”

And for the Johnsons, there is no forgetting what he did to their precious two year old daughter. Horrific acts of violence the public will never know.

“I know every single detail.”

Emily's parents are now relying on Facebook to get Minnesotans to urge lawmakers on the Public Safety Committee this week to at least listen to their story.

“For Emily she gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

And why the change is needed.....

“It is not fair to other families and it is not fair to us and not fair to Emily and she gave her life and we have to keep fighting for the right thing and this is the right thing.”

The Johnsons hope you can pressure lawmakers on the Public Safety Committee to hear their plea this week for a change in the law.