The Norman Transcript

Government

March 1, 2013

Settlement made in ‘Precious Doe’ federal lawsuit

NORMAN — The parties to a federal lawsuit arising from the brutal killing in 2001 of the child known as “Precious Doe” have announced a settlement.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections, OU Medical Center and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services have agreed to adopt new procedures to ensure that babies born to mothers in prison will be referred to DHS to plan for the safe placement of the newborn before the baby leaves the hospital.

Erica Michelle Marie Green was born in May 1997 at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center to a mother incarcerated in an Oklahoma prison. Erica’s biological father, Larry Green, also was incarcerated.

At the time of her birth, no procedures were in place for either DOC or OU Medical Center to provide notification to DHS to connect with the incarcerated mother to assist in planning for the safe placement of the newborn.

After Erica was born, she was given to a family acquaintance. The family friend later gave Erica to her mother, Michelle Johnson, after Johnson was released from prison.

Erica became known as “Precious Doe” after Johnson’s then-boyfriend, Harrell Johnson, murdered Erica, who was 3-years-old, and buried her body in a park in Kansas City. Michelle and Harrell Johnson were convicted for Erica’s murder and are still in prison.

Under the settlement agreement, DOC has agreed to notify DHS before a baby is born to an incarcerated mother. DHS will then be able to interact with the incarcerated mother regarding placement planning for the newborn, including — when the circumstances warrant — supervision of the placement and reunification of the child with the mother.

DHS will refer to the new procedures as “Erica’s Rule.”

The suit was brought by Erica’s father, Larry Green.

Green’s lawyers, Paul DeMuro and Sarah Poston, of Frederic Dorwart Lawyers, praised the settlement.

The settlement also included an undisclosed monetary payment to Green.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014

  • Leftover loss still hurting

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years....

    July 19, 2014

  • City and state briefs

    Transportation needs listed The White House released a new report this week from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the ...

    July 17, 2014