Liberia: Woman Charged with Murder after Mauling 5-Yr-Old Step-daughter to Death

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Malissa Kebeh Tokpah

Monrovia – Defendant Malissa Kebeh Tokpah, 33, has been ordered detained at the Monrovia Central Prison pending prosecution for allegedly beating a five-year-old girl to death.


Report by Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]



She was charged with manslaughter by the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice Tuesday, March 26, 2019 before taken to the maximum prison facility for detention,

Manslaughter is a crime in violation of Chapter14, subchapter A, section 14.2 of the revised penal code of the Republic of Liberia one found guilty spends up to three years in jail.

As she was being taken to prison several, persons gathered around the court officers to take a glance at the former social worker and guardian who has been accused of recklessly causing the death of five-year-old Blessing Johnson.

Defendant Tokpah refused to speak with any reporter who approached her to comment on the matter while sitting in the dock at the Monrovia City Court, “I don’t want to speak with anyone,” she said.

Court record in the possession of this paper shows that the incident occurred on March 18, at the home of the Defendant in the 72nd Community in the Paynesville.

Police charge sheet also in the possession of this paper claimed Defendant Tokpah in 2012 worked for the France based non-governmental organization Agence Contra Faim (ACF),  mainly concerned with malnourished pregnant woman and children and assigned in the Chicken Soup Factor in Gardnesville where got acquainted with the victim’s mother, ( Martha Barkoun) through her aunt Ethel Barkoun.

 During the course of her assignment in the said area Defendant Tokpah developed likeness in the victim’s mother and started catering to her until she gave birth to little Blessing Johnson on March 3, 2014. And at the time she gave birth, Defendant Tokpah was still catering to Martha and her child Blessing Johnson.

Police during investigation added that it was revealed that when victim Johnson reached the  age of one year six months, her mother Martha  Barkoun turned her over to Defendant Tokpah to take care as a guardian until she reached the age of five but the victim was in the habit of toileting on herself, though she could talk clearly.

According to the police charge sheet, during the evening hours of March 18, Blessing toileted on herself and mess-up the bathroom which angered Defendant Tokpah – an incident which led to Tokpah beating Blessing mercilessly.

 According to the police, in the process of the beating some neighbors came in and banged the door but she did not open the  door but when she realized that the victim was getting helpless she took her to a neighbor called Akin who assisted her to take her for a medical attention at the James Davis Hospital  where she was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Anthony Quayee.

“Having analyzed the various statements from interviews conducted assessed the incident scene and physically examined the deceased body at the hospital the investigation has established, among other facts, that the investigation could not establish criminal intent or premeditation,” the police charge sheet further revealed.

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