Lantern Project: Since October 2013, Hope House has joined with other domestic violence programs around the state by implementing the Lantern Project. For our part in this statewide project, we added to the lamppost in front of Hope House a purple wreath. We will turn on the light for a week every time there is a death related to domestic violence in Wisconsin. We will post information online about the person(s) that was killed. If you drive by our building and see our lamppost on, please reflect on the deadly impact that domestic violence has on our communities. We know the list of stories we post here is incomplete. We strive to learn about and share these stories but know that there are some that we and the media miss. If you see a news story of a death in WI related to domestic violence and don't see it posted here, please feel free to let us know about it here. Thank you.
January 1st, 2020: Alonzo Lamar Jr., Age 1 – Milwaukee
A 21-year-old Milwaukee man is facing charges in connection to the death of a 1-year-old child. The victim is Alonzo Lamar Jr. — also known as A.J. The accused is James Johnson.
Johnson is facing the following charges:
Andreana Martin, the baby’s mother, told police she left her 1-year-old son Alonzo Lamar Jr. in the care of her boyfriend on New Year’s Day while she went to work. While at work, Martin says she received a call from her boyfriend, identified as James Johnson, saying something was wrong. Martin said she rushed home to find her son lifeless and covered in bruises.
According to the complaint, officials say the child appeared to have human bite marks on the left arm, back, and leg. Officials also observed multiple bruises and abrasions to the face and head — along with lacerations to the inner cheek. An autopsy concluded that the child died as a result of blunt force trauma and the death was ruled a homicide. According to the complaint, Johnson claimed the child fell off the bed in the basement face-first onto the floor. “…crying non-stop for over an hour,”
Based on the accidental fall explanation Johnson provided to the mother, detectives measured the distance between the top of the mattress to the floor. The distance measured 1’4”, meaning the fall would have been a very minor fall, according to the complaint. During an interview with detectives, Johnson admitted to biting the child, striking him multiple times in the head with an open hand, and punching him in the leg with a closed fist because he was “crying non-stop for over an hour,” according to the complaint.
“AJ was just so happy. He was the happiest baby anybody could ever meet,” said Selena Cole, Alonzo’s Godmother. Now family members come together in heartbreak — hoping to heal through prayer. “We ask your hand to mercy to stretch out on them, and you strengthen them right now, in the mighty name of Jesus, we pray this prayer. If you’re in agreement say Amen,” heard from a prayer circle. A GoFundMe account was set up for Alonzo Lamar Jr. CLICK HERE to learn more.
As for Johnson, he is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 14.