Shelby County man appeals conviction for daughter’s ‘excruciating’ death

Andrea Ruth was 12 years old when she died Nov. 24, 2012.
Andrea Ruth was 12 years old when she died Nov. 24, 2012.
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:56 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Tenn. (WMC) - A Tennessee appeals court has denied a Millington man’s petition to overturn his conviction in connection with his young daughter’s 2012 death.

Errol Johnson was convicted of aggravated child neglect and criminally negligent homicide for the death of 12-year-old Andrea Ruth. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Ruth died after an infection in her legs became so bad an emergency room technician said no flesh remained and fragments of bone and maggots fell from her bandages, according to court documents.

Doctors wanted to amputate the girl’s legs a year before she died but the family canceled appointments and took her home, court documents say. A home health care worker visited briefly until Johnson told the company to stop the visits.

One doctor testified Ruth’s exposed nerve endings plus her urine-soaked bedding would’ve been “excruciating.”

Johnson appealed his conviction, claiming he was denied the right to represent himself at trial and received ineffective counsel when his attorney failed to advise him the state could introduce rebuttal evidence after his testimony.

The Shelby County Criminal Court denied the petition, which an appeals court affirmed Tuesday.

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