A Hudson Valley babysitter is accused of killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old son.

On Tuesday, at a press conference at the Town of Wallkill Police Department, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, Chief Robert Hertman of the Town of Wallkill Police Department, members of the New York State Police, and other law enforcement officials announced that an Orange County man was accused of killing a 3-year-old boy.

Child Found Dead In Orange County, New York


On Thursday, June 2, 2022, at 7:58 am, members of this Town of Wallkill Police Department responded to a report to help a citizen at 4 Edward Diana Way, apt. #82.

Upon arrival, officers discovered an unresponsive child in the living room of his residence.

The 3-year-old child, Xavier Johnson was transported to Garnet Health Medical Center by the Town of Wallkill Emergency Medical Services where he was later pronounced deceased.


"He was a bright shooting star in this world whose smile lit up the room, and will be deeply missed beyond all measures. To know Xavier is to know how much he loved cars and trucks, and he knew how to turn anyone’s frown into a smile with his warm hugs and loving kisses. He has been a special blessing to his entire family," a GoFundMe for Johnson's family states.

Months later, police believe they arrested the child's alleged killer, his mother's boyfriend.

Orange County, New York Man Charged With Killing Girlfriend's Son

Police yellow line, blurred lights and traffic accident in background
Getty Images/iStockphoto

On Friday, December 16, 2022, at approximately 2:39 p.m., Town of Wallkill Detective Christopher Dinapoli, arrested 23-year-old Gionni Sellers of Middletown for murder and manslaughter in connection with the June 2, 2022 death of 3-year-old Xavier Johnson.

During the subsequent investigation, it was determined that the child suffered from multiple serious injuries while Sellers babysat the child.

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"That day at the hospital, it was very clear to everyone involved that Xavier Johnson died an extremely terrible death and a savage death," Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler

Middletown, New York Man Indicted For Child's Murder

On Dec. 23, Sellers was indicted by an Orange County Grand Jury on the charges of murder second-degree and manslaughter first-degree.

It is alleged that for a period of time in May and June of 2022, Sellers was responsible for watching the three-year-old son of his girlfriend. In the days leading up to the child’s death, Sellers inflicted blunt force trauma about the child’s head and torso.

Officials say Johnson suffered "devastating injuries" which caused "grievous harm" throughout the boy's body, including severe trauma to the child’s brain.

Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler

"As alleged, this defendant’s depraved and wicked actions caused the senseless death of a vulnerable child,” Hoovler stated in a press release. “My Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will pursue justice for the victim in this case and thereby give voice to the voiceless. I thank the police agencies involved in this case for their diligent efforts through a challenging investigation.”

Bail/Bond Set

Sellers was arraigned in Orange County Court on Tuesday and remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $750,000 cash bail, $5,000,000 secured bond, or $5,000,000 partially secured bond.

Prison interior. Jail cells, dark background. 3d illustration

Sellers is next scheduled to appear in court on January 4, 2023.

He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted.

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