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Mother Blames Spongebob For Hallucinations That Allegedly Pushed Her To Kill Her 3-Year-Old Daughter

Photo: Iosco County Jail / Twitter
Justine Johnson, Sutton Mosser

A Michigan mom accused of murdering her daughter believes she experienced hallucinations of the cartoon character Spongebob that convinced her to commit the horrific act.

On September 16, 2021, Justine Johnson is alleged to have stabbed her daughter, Sutton Mosser, to death. Mosser had turned 3-years-old just two days earlier.

Justine Johnson claims Spongebob instructed her to kill her daughter.

Johnson was a heroin user and was reportedly in withdrawal when she had hallucinations of instructions that were coming from a television.

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According to Johnson, Spongebob, who was speaking to her through the TV, threatened to kill her if she did not kill her daughter. The instructions were convincing, or perhaps terrifying, enough to persuade Johnson to do the unthinkable.

Johnson has been charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse.

A Child Protective Services investigator Ryan Eberline testified that, before the alleged murder, Johnson told him had left her apartment to go to her mother’s when she passed out in a nearby graveyard.

After she awoke, Johnson returned to her apartment where she tried to end her own life. After she failed to end her life, Johnson allegedly turned on her 3-year-old daughter and killed her.

Johnson's brothers were the first to discover that Sutton Mosser had been killed.

Johnson’s 17-year-old brother claimed that he then found the sort of thing that would plague anyone’s nightmares for decades.

The teen went outside to look for his niece and saw an out-of-place garbage bag. When Johnson’s younger brother saw the bag, he noticed that “There was like a foot sticking out of the bag… I ran up and told Knesley, ‘There's a foot in a bag.’ He didn't believe me. He thought I was joking.”

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When police arrived at the scene they found the body of 3-year-old Sutton Mosser as well as blood stains and three knives.

Eberline spoke about his investigation into Johnson, saying, “She told me that she didn't remember the specifics of what happened at the time of what happened to Sutton, that she was experiencing hallucinations due to heroin withdrawal and not sleeping for approximately two weeks.”

Eberline also spoke about the specifics of Johnson’s hallucinations, saying, “She was getting hallucinations from the TV that had instructed her to take her daughter's life or they would kill her.”

The CPS investigator also elaborated on the specific hallucinations, “It was SpongeBob who was saying these things on the TV… If she didn't do what she did to her daughter they would kill her. She said she was afraid for her life and she had lost her mind.”

Johnson has been deemed fit to stand trial and faces life in prison if convicted.

She is currently being held without bond, with a pretrial hearing scheduled for Feb. 28.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.

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