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Judge grants continuance in second-degree murder trial

Monday, February 9, 2009 | 4:44 p.m. CST; updated 11:13 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

COLUMBIA — A Boone County judge granted a continuance in the trial of a Columbia father charged in the homicide of his 2-year-old son Monday.

Horace C. Johnson, 26, of Columbia is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his 2-year-0ld son, Cortez.

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton granted the continuance to allow the defense to review the autopsy of Cortez. The motion, requested by Johnson's attorney Stephen Wyse, was not opposed by Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks.

Cortez died on June 25 from blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office. At the time, medical personnel found severe burns, cuts and bruises on the boy's body, according to a probable cause statement filed with the court.

The boy’s mother, Keyonda Lumpkin, 27, is also charged with second-degree murder. Lumpkin pleaded not guilty on Oct. 6.

The defendants, who were living together at the time of the boy’s death, have accused each other of causing the death of the child, according to the statement. 

Johnson's trial date will be set on Feb. 17.


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