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Federal Jury Finds Red Lake Woman Guilty in Child Abuse Case

MINNEAPOLIS – A federal jury found a Red Lake woman guilty of child neglect and endangerment on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

Following a five-day trial before Judge Katherine M. Menendez, Bobbi Jo Johnson, aka Bobbi Jo Kingbird, 46, was convicted last week on one count of child neglect-deprivation of food and health care, and one count of child endangerment.

According to evidence presented at trial and court documents, between January 1, 2021, and April 29, 2022, Bobbi Jo Johnson engaged in, aided, and abetted the endangerment, neglect, and abuse of a child who was in the foster care of her sister and co-defendant, Trina Mae Johnson. The abuse included withholding food from the victim to the point of starvation, forcing the victim to stand in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time, and assaulting the victim. As a result of Bobbi Jo Johnson's and her co-defendants' abuse, the victim suffered serious and substantial physical, mental, and emotional harm.

Trina Mae Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of child torture, one count of child neglect-deprivation of food and health care, one count of child endangerment, and one count of assault on a minor with a dangerous weapon. Ellie Mae Johnson, Patricia Ann Johnson, and Bertram Calvin Lussier, Jr. each pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment. All five defendants will be sentenced at a later date.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, with support from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Beltrami County Sherriff's Office, the Bemidji Police Department, and the Blackduck Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ruth S. Shnider and Evan B. Gilead tried the case.


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