PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The woman accused in the kidnapping and murder of a 2-year-old girl is headed to trial.
Sharena Nancy, 25, appeared in a courtroom Friday and was held for court on all charges.
In court, several family members wore t-shirts bearing the child’s face. They were silent as they walked by reporters, but their garments spoke volumes.
Police say Nancy allegedly abducted the little girl in August of last year in Penn Hills. Johnson was later found dead on Sept. 3 in Pine Ridge Park in Indiana County.
The coroner’s report said it was “homicidal violence” that killed Johnson. He also found “small scrapes (and) abrasions’ on both sides of her face.”
An unidentified “yellowish substance” was found in Johnson’s stomach.
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Investigators said Johnson’s father and Nancy were beginning a romantic relationship, and argued just before the girl disappeared.
“She’s hysterical. She was manipulated. You have a young girl from India, a mother of two, being plied with drugs and alcohol, basically being manipulated by a street-savvy hustler. She’s not street savvy. You will find out she was taken advantage of,” attorney Randall Ricciuti said.
Ricciuti said he and his law partner were disappointed when they were not permitted at the preliminary hearing to get all the information they needed.
“Significant information and it’s all pertaining to the child’s father and what we know,” Ricciuti said. “Namely, and there are court dockets, public records of a PFA filed against the child’s father for threatening to kill the child and carrying a gun”.
Johnson did not testify at the preliminary hearing.
Attorney R. Anthony DeLuca said Friday’s proceedings were pointless.
“I really don’t think there was much purpose to what we did here today if you don’t have the actual witness testifying,” DeLuca said.