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Suspect Accused of Kidnapping 4-Year-Old Cash Gernon from Crib as He Slept Is Now Charged with Murder


Darriynn Brown, Cash Gernon

The 18-year-old from Texas who had already faced charges of burglary, kidnapping, and injury to a child in connection with the death of 4-year-old Cash Gernon now faces a charge of capital murder, Dallas County Jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show. Darriynn Brown’s bond amount was increased by $5,000,000, bringing the total bond to $6,625,000.

Brown remains held at the Dallas County Jail.

The 18-year-old is accused of kidnapping Gernon from his crib in the middle of the night and subsequently killing the 4-year-old in a suburban area of Dallas, Texas back in May. Gernon’s blood-covered body was discovered in the middle of a street.

A woman who said she called 911 told CBS DFW that she discovered the boy’s body on May 15.

“I see something laying in the road and my initial thought was that it was a dog,” she said. “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.”

Cash Gernon’s body was found half a mile from where he was living with his twin brother. Lying in a pool of blood and originally mistaken for a dead animal by a neighbor, police said the boy had multiple wounds from “an edged weapon.” In recently-released surveillance footage, the man identified as Brown can be seen grabbing the child as he slept. 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.

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 claims.

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.

Authorities had said that they expected to file additional charges against Brown. On Wednesday, police said forensic evidence linked Brown to the killing. It’s unclear at this time what that evidence is. 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.”

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.