Couple charged with abuse after children transported to UMMC with bruises, marks

Destiny Kiara Nowell, 21 (L)
Joseph Lawrence Johnson, 19 (R)
Destiny Kiara Nowell, 21 (L) Joseph Lawrence Johnson, 19 (R)(McComb Police Department)
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 12:20 PM CST
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MCCOMB, Miss. (WLBT) - A man and woman are behind bars after two children were transported to the hospital with bruises and marks on their bodies.

The McComb Police Department says Joseph Lawrence Johnson, 19, of Centerville is behind bars charged with the following:

  • 2 counts of felonious infliction of physical or injury upon a vulnerable person
  • 2 counts of gratification of lust against a vulnerable person
  • 1 count of rape

Destiny Kiara Nowell, 21, of McComb is charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency or neglect of a child, police say.

Investigators first learned of the case after being dispatched to McComb’s Southwest Medical Center’s Emergency Room.

Once they arrived, medical staff told officers two underage children, male and female, had “bruising and marks on [a] variety [of] parts of their bodies.”

The children were immediately transported to UMMC in Jackson.

Johnson was issued a $1 million bond and Nowell was given a $200,000 bond.

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