Will Darriynn Brown be sentenced to death? Man charged with capital murder in Cash Gernon case

Darriynn Brown, arrested on charges of kidnapping Cash Gernon and burglary, was charged with murder after new lab evidence came to light


                            Will Darriynn Brown be sentenced to death? Man charged with capital murder in Cash Gernon case
Cash Gernon kidnapping suspect Darriynn Brown in his mugshot (Dallas County Jail)

Four weeks after Cash Gernon was found murdered in the middle of a Dallas street, kidnapping suspect Darriynn Ronnell Brown has been charged with capital murder too. Police had initially arrested Brown after the baby monitor camera footage from the four-year-old Gernon's bedroom allegedly showed the 18-year-old kidnapping him. Brown had been charged with kidnapping and murder, with police awaiting complete forensic results to determine who killed the Texas toddler. He was slammed with murder charges after new lab evidence came to light, announced the Dallas Police Department.

While the exact evidence wasn't revealed in the Dallas Police's statement, they said: "Evidence submitted to the lab has been returned linking Darriynn Brown to Cash Gernon at the time of his death,' the Dallas Police Department said on Wednesday, June 9, in a short statement on its website giving an update on the case. Therefore he is also being charged with Capital Murder." Capital punishment in Texas carries an automatic life sentence and even the death penalty. Prosecutors will determine the desired punishment before the trial begins. 

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A photo of Cash Gernon, the victim (Dallas Police)

 

Gernon was found dead by a passing jogger in the early hours of May 15. The boy was lying in a pool of blood without any shirt or shoes in the middle of a street. Police had revealed that the cause of death was multiple stab wounds. At the scene of his kidnapping, a knife and some tissues were also found by investigators. Monica Sherrod, identified as the woman Gernon was living with, identified Brown from the baby monitor footage. But both Brown and his attorney claim he is not the man seen taking Gernon from his cot shared by him and his twin brother at Sherrod's home.

Brown's attorney Heath Harris told Dallas Morning News that while the additional charges are frustrating, they can finally gain access to evidence and prepare a defense for him. "It's almost a month after this tragedy and I'm still waiting to prepare this kid's defense," he said. "We can't do that till we have all the evidence." He further mentioned his concerns about the prejudices surrounding the case, saying: "'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. The world is basically prejudicing this whole community by saying, "That’s him."'

Screengrab from surveillance footage showing Cash Gernon being abducted by Darriynn Brown. (Daily Mail)

Simultaneously, Brown's lawyer is also awaiting the mental health evaluation of his client to check if he's competent to stand trial. Harris also alleged that the speculation surrounding the case is preventing Brown from getting a fair trial. Police, meanwhile, have been saying for weeks that they were expecting to file murder charges once the forensic results came in. "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 had claimed in late May at a community meeting.

Brown, who was revealed to be an acquaintance of Sherrod's son, is the only suspect in the case. The baby monitor footage shows a man matching Brown's description taking Gernon from Sherrod's home, before returning just two hours later to presumably kidnap the other twin, Carter Gernon. The second time around, something or someone spooks the man and he bolts immediately. It has been since reported that Brown had broken into Sherrod's home while everybody was asleep. Sherrod, who lives in the house with her own children, had been caring for the twins since their father Trevor Gernon dumped them in her care and vanished due to trouble with the law.

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