Local News

2-year-old brutally beaten and left for dead in Lancaster

It’s an unimaginable story. A 2-year-old girl is dead after being brutally beaten by her mother’s boyfriend at their home on the 500 block of East Ross Street. Police say emergency workers found Ranasia Knight in and out of consciousness early Saturday morning after they got a call that she had fallen down the steps.  An autopsy performed Monday revealed otherwise. Police are now ruling her death a homicide and charging her mother’s live-in boyfriend Lester Johnson.

Police say Johnson punched the child in the head, splitting her retina and blinding her in the right eye. He is accused of then kicking her in the stomach several times while she was on the ground, injuring her internal organs.

“What excuse is there. Two years and I think nine months, what excuse is there for anybody to punch anybody in the head and kick her in the torso while she’s down.  And then not call for emergency services,” said District Attorney Craig Stedman.  ” The victim can’t speak for herself anymore and that’s going to be our job. We’re going to be the victim’s voice in the courtroom and make sure that justice is done. It’s despicable and obviously criminal and we a got a long road ahead of us. “

Ranasia’s uncle wants answers. “I never saw any of them hurt their kids. He was a decent guy he took care of his kids he did all that stuff but I don’t know.  I mean I want justice if he did do this,” said Justin Bachman.

Johnson is in Lancaster County Prison without bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on January 25th.  Three other children have been removed from the home by Children and Youth Services.


25 Comments to “2-year-old brutally beaten and left for dead in Lancaster”

    Joanne Seaks said:
    January 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Where was the mother when this happened to her child?If she was there and watched what happened or new this happened and did nothing,she needs to go to jail to.

      Dave M. said:
      July 19, 2014 at 4:06 PM


    Paul W. said:
    January 15, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Another reason that we need the death penalty and need it enforced swiftly!

    Guest said:
    January 15, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Are these kind of murders of little children never going to end I agree with Paul W. We need to bring back the death penalty and enforce it! This is sickening at least the baby is with Jesus now!

      your mother said:
      February 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      shes going to hell.

    Kris said:
    January 15, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    That guy simply needs to be put to death now!!! He is evil and an animal at that!

      Bev said:
      January 16, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      I disagree. That is an insult to animals. Even they dont do this to their young.

    Guest said:
    January 15, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    This is a terrible story. I can NOT believe that someone would have the ability to do this to a child. If you cant handle her, why didn't you take her to someone who could, instead of killing her. The way things are these days, and the total lack of respect for someone else's life .. we definately DO need stronger punishments!

    chris said:
    January 15, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I cannot understand why someone would hurt a child. I have grandchildren around this age and i cannot ever imagine myself doing anything remotely like this to them. Crucify the rotten bastard!

    robin said:
    January 15, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Another POS who needs to be beat to death just like he did that defensless baby,,,

    Janice T said:
    January 15, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    I am so sick of seeing this everyday and 8 times out of 10 its a boyfriend or stepfather, are women these days so damn desperate they can't get a decent guy so they just drag anything who will have them & let them hurt their babies, no, when people say oh he was a good guy, no he wasn't and prolly had hit the kids before & got away with it so it just gets worse, if the law in every state doesn't start changing these law's & enforce life in jail or death penality,this is going to continue over the past 2yrs I have seen so far about 450 case's almost exactly like this one & even on younger babies, 6wk old in Pa, 13 month old in Va, 3yr old in NC,4 mo old Wis. I could go on and on, people need to stand up & protest, our future is dying off one by one, demand justice, demand new law's, go to the site Million March Against Child Abuse in Washington,DC or your state & fight for our kids ,all of them !

    rob holmes said:
    January 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    they need to put a BULLET in that assholes head

      Valerie said:
      January 15, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      That would be to kind! They need to beat them to near death and then make them recover without pain meds and then do it again!

    Bonnie said:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    They need to follow through with putting prisoners on death row to death. Maybe if some prisoners wereputto death more often assholes like this guy would think twice before killing babies. They also need to keep the protesters away. The stay of execution should be gotten rid of.

      Dave M. said:
      July 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      And if definitely Guilty EXECUTE them in a Week…not 20 years later

    Thomas said:
    January 16, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    From what I have heard on this the Mother didn't see it being done , but helped to try and cover it up. She broke down under pressure from detectives and turned on her boyfriend . She will not be arrested. A friend in L.P.D. said she will be testifying at the up coming hearing.

    Paula said:
    January 16, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    The mother should also be charged if she tried to cover this up!! How many times has he beat on this little girl before he killed her?? We al know that a beating like this was NOT the first one!! Anyone who could beat on and harm a child is nothing but a SCUMBAG and should be put in jail with the other inmates for life!! Lets see what they think of this baby killer!!!

    marti said:
    January 16, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    this make me sick he needs to have what he did to this baby girl done o him

    Pam said:
    January 16, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    It takes a real scumbag to do something like this. I hope he is punished to the full extent of the law!

    GUEST said:
    January 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM


      cassandra said:
      April 11, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      I totally agree, the death penalty is the easy way out for them. Let them rot inside and they will get whats coming to them off all the other prisoners.

    Tyrone Ooks said:
    January 24, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    Black family values.

    tracey said:
    January 26, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    He should be put right into main population and not protective custody is where he probably is rotten bastard. I have a grandson that is almost 3 and could never imagine what he could do for someone to do that. The mother had to know something and she should be charge with neglecting the situation and trying to cover it up. He will get beaten and hopefully raped in jail by the ones that are doing life. The inmates hate child murders and child molesters. I hope they both rot in hell. If I came home and saw what he did to my child the police would have to arrest me for murder. I don't care if it was the father of the baby, a mother's job is to PROTECT their children.

      concerned mother said:
      June 16, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      Amen to that!! Any mother that could just let something like this happen did not deserve the pleasure of becoming one in the first place!!! Wake the fuck up America this is what our country is becoming if we don't stand up and start doing something about peraonally and legally it will only keep getting worse. So so sad my heart goes out to this poor little girl but she is a lot safer then most of us now and that piece of shit will get what's coming to him one way or another!

    consaka said:
    June 23, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    There will be no justice. The only justice is for this person to get the death penalty by beating. He will get jail time at the taxpayers expense and then eventually parole.

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