Randall Abney Guilty of Murder in Dent County in Starving Death of Adopted Daughter

(Salem) With little publicity until it happened, Randall Abney had his jury trial this week at the Dent County courthouse in Salem in relation to the death of his foster daughter, who later became his and his wife Susan’s adopted daughter.

After 90 minutes of deliberation Wednesday, the 53-year-old man was found guilty by a jury of his peers for 2nd degree murder and abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death.

His wife Susan was the key witness, testifying against her husband in the trial.

46-year-old Susan had already cut a plea deal in Crawford County court on a change of venue from Dent County.

She pleaded guilty to abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death and her 2nd degree murder charge was dropped.

Susan still awaits her sentencing which is scheduled for October 11th and Randall is set to receive his sentence on November 18th.

In 2020, the Abney’s were arrested after Dent County police were called to their rural Dent County home, located between Salem and Boss, after 10-year-old Josie Ann Abney had stopped breathing.

The girl was pronounced dead after taken to the local hospital.

Medical examiners said Josie Ann died from malnutrition.

She weighed only 34-pounds when she died.

The Abney’s made it a practice of locking the girl in her bedroom and kept the young girl from eating by putting locks on the cupboards and even hid food from the girl in their own bedroom.

The Salem News Online says Randall was denied a last request by Judge Michael Randazzo to say goodbye to his elderly father who was parked outside, not able to make it up the Dent County courthouse stairs.

Josie Ann’s original name was Jocelyn Abrianna Chadwell.

Her biological parents were teenagers from Shannon County.

Josie Ann was first placed with the Abney’s as foster parents when she was just 22 months old.