Lumberton man with ties to local schools, and woman indicted on multiple child injury charges

Published 12:18 am Friday, July 28, 2023

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A Lumberton man with ties to local and area schools and colleges, along with a woman, were indicted this week by a Hardin County grand jury on multiple counts of injury to a child.

Matthew Johnson, 33, was indicted on six counts of injury to a child for incidents that occurred Jan. 1, 2021; Jan. 1, 2022; June 25, 2022; Oct. 11, 2022; Oct. 22, 2022; and Oct. 28, 2022, according to court documents.

Emily Johnson, 30, was indicted on six counts of injury to a child and six counts of abandon/endanger child imminent danger for the same dates.

Emily Johnson’s charges stem from omission and not getting the child immediate medical attention.

The child, younger than age 14, was reportedly hit with a wooden paddle multiple times in the arm, leg and buttocks; had objects thrown striking her in the head; punched in the arm with a fist; hit with the metal part of a belt in the hip and leg; and picked up and slammed against a door, causing the knob to hit the child in the hip area.

Hardin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Scott Delacerda said bond was set at a total of $120,000 for Matthew Johnson and a total of $180,000 for Emily Johnson.

The two were arrested and bonded out Wednesday.

A spokesperson at Lamar Institute of Technology said Matthew Johnson is currently employed as an instructor teaching online summer courses.

Matthew Johnson has also worked at Port Neches-Groves High School as well as Lamar State College Port Arthur, Lamar State College Orange and Lamar University.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.

— Written by Mary Meaux