Laurel County woman sentenced to 45 years in her toddler's death

A Laurel County woman convicted of killing her 23-month-old son should serve 45 years in prison, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Amanda Johnson, 23, was convicted of murder and criminal abuse in the October 2009 death of her son, Stephen Troy.

Laurel Circuit Judge Gregory Lay sentenced Johnson Tuesday. Lay followed the jury's recommendation of 35 years on the murder charge and 10 years on the abuse charge, to be served consecutively, said Commonwealth's Attorney Jackie Steele.

Johnson denied assaulting her son. However, a witness recounted hearing a thump and the boy screaming when he was alone with his mother, then later finding bruises on the toddler, Steele said.

The boy died from internal bleeding because his small intestine was ruptured by a blow that pushed it into his spine, Steele said.

An autopsy showed a bone in his leg had earlier been broken three times, Steele said.