Texas teen arrested in 4-year-old’s abduction faces capital murder charge
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The Texas teen accused of kidnapping a 4-year-old boy who was later found dead now faces a capital murder charge after new evidence from a crime lab connected him to the crime, according to a report.
Darriynn Brown, 18, who allegedly snatched Cash Gernon from his Dallas bedroom on May 15 as the tot slept next to his twin brother, was initially charged with kidnapping and burglary.
But police on Wednesday filed the capital murder charge after a forensic analysis.
“Evidence submitted to the lab has been returned linking Darriynn Brown to Cash Gernon at the time of his death. Therefore he is also being charged with Capital Murder,” police said in a statement, CBS DFW reported.
The suspect’s attorney, Heath Harris, said Wednesday night that he hoped the new charge would mean he’d be able to request an examining trial and gain access to evidence.
“It’s almost a month after this tragedy and I’m still waiting to prepare this kid’s defense,” Harris told the Dallas Morning News. “We can’t do that ’til we have all the evidence.”
He also is waiting to have a doctor evaluate his client’s mental health and determine whether he’s competent to assist in his own defense, according to the news outlet.
Brown is being held in the Dallas County jail, with bail set at $1.625 million.
He also faces counts of burglary and injury to an elderly person stemming from a February incident, the newspaper reported.
Police did not elaborate on the new lab evidence but have said for weeks that they expected to file a capital murder charge against Brown as soon as they got back the forensic analysis.
“There is no doubt who took him, and as soon as I get the lab report back, there will be no doubt who killed him,” Lt. Carrie Wise said at a recent community meeting.
Cash was found dead in the street, covered in blood, a mile away from his home a short time after the abduction, police have said.
Home surveillance video showed the suspect standing over the twins before swiping a sleeping Cash from his bed and carrying him away, court documents allege.
But Harris has told the Dallas Morning News that police have the wrong guy — and that his client did not break into the home, kidnap Cash or kill him.
“This is not an open-and-shut case. Even if you believe that’s [Brown] on the video, it doesn’t mean he killed the kid,” he said. “The world is basically prejudicing this whole community by saying, ‘That’s him.’”
Harris told the paper he had yet to receive the widely published security tape from law enforcement. He also claimed it will be proven that Brown has a mental disorder.
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