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Police Reveal Forensic Evidence that Led to Capital Murder Charge Against Suspect in Kidnapping and Death of 4-Year-Old Cash Gernon


Darriynn Brown, Cash Gernon

Days after a new capital murder charge was handed down against 18-year-old Darriynn Brown in the kidnapping and death of 4-year-old Cash Gernon, police shed more light on forensic evidence that they say proves Brown committed the crime.

FOX 4, citing an affidavit, reported that authorities have a combination of surveillance video evidence, DNA evidence, and blood evidence against Brown. Authorities allege that Brown kidnapped Gernon as the child slept on May 15, then stabbed the victim in the chest before dumping the boy’s body in the middle of a street.

The surveillance video evidence has previously been reported. In recently-released surveillance footage, a suspect identified as Brown can be seen grabbing Gernon as he slept in a crib. An additional video allegedly shows the defendant returning to the scene of the crime, hovering over the crib, and presumably contemplating stealing the boy’s twin (after Cash was already dead) but ultimately deciding against it. Monica Sherrod, who lived at the residence with the children, identified Brown; reports said the children’s father left the twins in the care of an ex-girlfriend as of March.

But in addition to known surveillance video, authorities said that three items recovered from Brown’s room all tested positive for the victim’s blood. According to FOX 4, those items were “black sunglasses,” a “black Adidas hoodie,” and “black tennis shoes.”

A woman who said she called 911 told CBS DFW that she discovered the boy’s body on May 15. Antwainese Square told Fox News that she “can’t unsee what [she] saw.”

“I remember looking at his poor body and I remember seeing ants on the bottom of his feet,” Square said.

The neighbor previously said that she thought there was a dead dog in the street until she saw Gernon’s hand and legs.

“The closer I get to it I can tell it’s a human cause I see a hand and I see legs. Very traumatizing. I have three kids. To see a child covered in blood in the middle of the street, it’s truly traumatizing,” she said.

Police have said that the victim suffered multiple wounds from “an edged weapon.”

Just over a week after Brown’s arrest, it was reported that the suspect tried to “take” another child as recently as February.

As Law&Crime reported, the February would-be kidnapping incident originally went unreported because the homeowner/alleged victim declined to press charges against Brown. According to the affidavit reported by KTVT, Brown made his way into a man’s home and began to rifle through various rooms and closets. The man claimed that he picked up a kitchen knife and brandished it in Brown’s direction while demanding that the suspect leave the premises. The defendant allegedly left after that but only briefly. According to the affidavit, Brown returned and began kicking at an interior door between the house and the garage on the property–prompting the homeowner to open the door to see what was going on. After that, the man claimed Brown punched him in the forehead.

The homeowner, a grandfather, claimed that Brown then walked into the living room where his 2-year-old granddaughter was sleeping. The teenager allegedly grabbed the girl and tried to take her away towards the laundry room. The man said he at first pleaded with Brown to let the girl go but was ignored. The girl was then ripped from Brown’s grasp by the grandfather, the affidavit claimed.

In a statement to police, the man said his granddaughter was “startled and began crying when she awoke to Brown holding her.”

But the grandfather initially declined to press charges after Brown apologized, police said.

“[H]e was sorry for breaking into his house and trying to take his grandchild,”a police report said, describing Brown’s alleged Walmart apology that reportedly occurred two weeks after the alleged attempted kidnapping. After Cash Gernon was killed, the grandfather of the 2-year-old girl decided to press charges.

Brown’s attorney Heath Harris said he has not been able to mount a defense because he doesn’t “have all the evidence.”

“It’s almost a month after this tragedy and I’m still waiting to prepare this kid’s defense,” Harris reportedly said. The attorney previously said, “Based on what I believe, I am going to be able to support this kid [Brown] is schizophrenic.”

The 18-year-old faces charges of burglary, kidnapping, injury to a child, and capital murder, Dallas County Jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show. Brown remains held on $6,625,000 bond.

Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.

[image via Dallas County Jail, Daily Mail/screengrab]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.