1.15.13 Arrest made in Child Homicide

15 January 2013 by Cpt. Kent Switzer

     Shortly after 3:00 am, Saturday, January 12th officers of the Lancaster City Police were dispatched to an address in 500 Blk E. Ross St for a report of an injured child, who was initially reported to have been injured as a result of a fall.  The officers and ambulance personnel arrived, found the child (a 2-year-old female), in and out of consciousness  and conveyed her to Lancaster General Hospital, where medical personnel attempted life saving procedures, but unfortunately the child succumbed to her injuries and was then pronounced dead at 4:18 am that morning.  The child was identified as 2-year-9-month-old Ranasia Knight (DOB: 25 April 2010).  At this time, bruising was observed to the child’s right orbital area and the child appeared to have an abnormally bloated abdomen.   

     Both the child’s mother and the mother’s boyfriend were interviewed by Detectives at the police station early Saturday morning, as were other witnesses, who were subsequently released, but the investigation into the death continued throughout the weekend. 

     An autopsy was conducted Monday morning, 14 Jan 13 by Wayne K. Ross, M.D., Forensic Pathologist and it was determined that the child died from multiple traumatic injuries and the death was ruled a Homicide.

     As the investigation and interviews continued into the evening Monday, both the mother and the mother’s boyfriend were re-interviewed, along with other witnesses and as a result of the investigation, the mother’s boyfriend was arrested and charged with Criminal Homicide, Aggravated Assault( 2 Counts F-1) and Endangering the Welfare of Children(3 Counts— two M-1 and one F-3).  The boyfriend, who was arrested at about 7:00 pm Monday night at the Police Station, has been identified as….  

                   Lester L. Johnson, 30

                   (AKA: “Face”)

                   500 Blk E. Ross St.

                   Lancaster, Pa.   

     The charges were brought by Detective Gareth Lowe before Magisterial District Judge Janice Jimenez.  Johnson was arraigned on the charges this morning before Magisterial District Judge Edward Tobin and he was committed to Lancaster County Prison with no bail.  

     It was determined during the investigation that Johnson both punched the child in the area of the face and head and kicked the child in the abdomen multiple times, which caused multiple internal injuries and ultimately resulted in the child’s death.   

    The investigation into this child’s death was lead by Det. Lt. Michael Winters and Det. Sgt. Sonja Stebbins, in conjunction with the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office (Assistant District Attorney Randall Miller), the Lancaster County Children and Youth Agency and the Lancaster County Children’s Alliance.  The investigation into this child’s death is continuing.     

 As always, persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

 **THE LANCASTER BUREAU OF POLICE IS RESPECTUFLLY REQUESTING THE MEDIA TO LIMT WHAT IS PUBLISHED IN THIS CASE TO THAT WHICH IS ON THIS NEWS RELSEASE AND TO SPECIFICALLY REFRAIN FROM PUBLISHING THE NAMES OF ANY WINTESSES, SHOULD THEY BECOME KNOWN, SO AS NOT TO JEOPARDIZE THIS ON GOING INVESTIGATION.**  


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