Florida mother charged with confining 2-year-old son in booster seat for 15 hours, watching him ‘perish’

Share This Post

A young Florida mother confined her 2-year-old son to his booster seat for “approximately fifteen hours” as punishment for “acting out” now faces murder charges for felony neglect and abuse.

“The victim was unlawfully caged/restrained in a table booster seat for approximately fifteen hours before the defendant released him,” the criminal report affidavit states. “The defendant failed to supervise and provide the medical services needed to properly render aide to the victim.”

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) announced in a press release, that 24-year-old Rebecca Gussage-Johnston is charged with first degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse. Her attorney pleaded not guilty on her behalf.

Prosecutors say on May 18, 2023, the young mother admitted to strapping the child to a kitchen table in a booster seat as punishment. Johnston says the baby was screaming and “acting out.”

They say the toddler was restrained for “approximately 15 hours.”

Authorities said that despite Gussage-Johnston having access to a working cell phone and her son being unresponsive, she did not seek medical assistance for nearly 24 hours. The next morning, the mother admitted that she found her child on the ground, still strapped to the booster seat, suffering seizures.


It was not until a concerned family member called the HCSO to investigate the troubling incident.

According to the affidavit, officers arrived at a “white/tan 1992 mobile RV parked in a truck lot located in Thonotosassa, Florida.”

Once authorities arrived, they found the toddler in severe condition and in a bassinet underneath a blanket, the affidavit said.

“Upon arrival, Deputies encountered the victim to be deceased and suffering from trauma to [his] head, a wound to [his] right thigh, and bruising throughout [his] extremity area,” the affidavit said.


He was covered in vomit and feces when he was found, the affidavit states.

Authorities said that the innocent toddler was “confined and strapped in the table booster” for hours.

“The victim remained confined and strapped in the table booster seat from May 18, 2023, at 20:00 hours until May 19, 2023 at either 1030 or 11:00 hours.”

In the following prosecution, Gussage-Johnston admitted to watching her son perish and eventually die in her arms.

“The defendant admitted to watching the victim suffer from seizures and shaking uncontrollably,” the affidavit continued. “The defendant described having watched the victim take their last breath and perish in her arms.”


First degree murder charges were filed, adding to Gussage-Johnston’s previous neglect and child abuse charges, following the medical examiner’s consultation. The medical examiner ruled that the 2-year-old’s death was a homicide caused by severe neglect, the sheriff’s office said.

Police called the incident “hear-wrenching to witness,” and this instance of child abuse.

“The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has unrelenting fervor in our pursuit of justice for innocent children hurt by criminals,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “It is truly heart-wrenching to witness such senseless and preventable acts of violence targeting our youth. The tenacity of our detectives has allowed us to ensure this woman faces the consequences of her disgusting actions.”

HCSO urges anyone with additional information about this case to contact us at 813-247-8200. 

The post Florida mother charged with confining 2-year-old son in booster seat for 15 hours, watching him ‘perish’ appeared first on lawyer.bet.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group PLLP.

Got a Problem? Consult With Us

For Assistance, Please Give us a call or schedule a virtual appointment.
Estate Planning New York Lawyer Estate Planning Miami Lawyer Estate Planning Lawyer NYC Miami Lawyer Near Me Estate Planning Lawyer Florida Near Me Dental Near Me Lawyers Probate Lawyer Hallandale Beach Probate Lawyer Near Miami Estate Planning Lawyer Near Miami Estate Planning Attorney Near Miami Probate Attorney Near Miami Best Probate Attorney Miami Best Probate Lawyer Miami Best Estate Planning Lawyer Miami Best Estate Planning Attorney Miami Best Estate Planning Attorney Hollywood Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Palm Beach Florida Estate Planning Attorney Palm Beach Immigration Miami Lawyer Estate Planning lawyer Miami Local Lawyer Florida Florida Attorneys Near Me Probate Key West Florida Estate Planning Key West Florida Will and Trust Key West Florida local lawyer local lawyer mag local lawyer magazine local lawyer local lawyer elite attorney magelite attorney magazineestate planning miami lawyer estate planning miami lawyers estate planning miami attorney probate miami attorney probate miami lawyers near me lawyer miami probate lawyer miami estate lawyer miami estate planning lawyer boca ratonestate planning lawyers palm beach estate planning lawyers boca raton estate planning attorney boca raton estate planning attorneys boca raton estate planning attorneys palm beach estate planning attorney palm beach estate planning attorney west palm beach estate planning attorneys west palm beach west palm beach estate planning attorneys west palm beach estate planning attorney west palm beach estate planning lawyers boca raton estate planning lawyers boca raton probate lawyers west palm beach probate lawyer west palm beach probate lawyers palm beach probate lawyersboca raton probate lawyers probate lawyers boca raton probate lawyer boca raton Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer Probate Lawyer best probate attorney Florida best probate attorneys Florida best probate lawyer Florida best probate lawyers palm beach estate lawyer palm beach estate planning lawyer fort lauderdale estate planning lawyer in miami estate planning north miami Florida estate planning attorneys florida lawyers near mefort lauderdale local attorneys miami estate planning law miami estate planning lawyers miami lawyer near me probate miami lawyer probate palm beach Florida trust and estate palm beach Miami estate law Estate lawyers in Miami