An Alabama judge ruled on Tuesday that the case against the male suspect in October’s abduction and murder of Kamille McKinney can proceed to a grand jury.
Patrick Stallworth, 39, his girlfriend, Derick Brown, 29, are facing kidnapping and capital murder charges in connection with McKinney’s disappearance and death. While court testimony during his two-hour preliminary hearing directly linked Stallworth to McKinney’s abduction, Stallworth is saying Brown is responsible for the toddler’s kidnapping and death.
An autopsy determined that McKinney, 3, died shortly after her abduction from asphyxiation by suffocation. It also stated that the toddler had toxic levels of methamphetamine and Trazodone, an anti-depressant, in her body, AL.com reported.
Stallworth reportedly had a prescription for Trazodone. Testimony also revealed that on the night of the abduction, he purchased an energy drink and a pill for erectile dysfunction at a local convenience store.
McKinney was last seen alive on October 12 at a birthday party at the Tom Brown Village public housing community. Children who attended the party reportedly said a man was handing out candy before he put the barefoot toddler in a Toyota Sequoia and drove off.
Though the toddler’s body was reportedly discarded in a dumpster at the Woodside Condominiums in Center Point, authorities said her body was discovered at the Santek Waste Services Landfill in Gardendale on October 22.
While Stallworth has denied involvement, Tuesday’s testimony uncovered that it was him who led investigators to McKinney’s body.
Stallworth and Brown were taken into custody at the condos a day after McKinney’s disappearance. The Toyota Sequoia that was sought in the investigation was reportedly located at the residence.
Stallworth’s attorney denied his client used meth — and said that Brown had been stealing Stallworth’s anti-depressants and taking them with meth. Stallworth reportedly told investigators that he believed his girlfriend used meth on the night of the abduction because she was overly talkative.
It was reportedly only after McKinney’s body was found did Stallworth admit to seeing the toddler.
Stallworth reportedly said he walked into his apartment and found Brown sitting on the couch with McKinney. Brown declared that she wanted to “keep” the toddler and asked Stallworth to do something sexual to the girl, he said.
Stallworth allegedly accused Brown of putting her hands over McKinney’s nose and mouth, resulting in her falling “asleep.” He also claimed that Brown removed her bows and clothes and gave her a bath. Stallworth said his next memory is waking up in bed with his girlfriend next to him, according to the news outlet.
AL.com reported that investigators seized a plastic covering for a mattress which was located in the couple’s living room. It was said to have blood on it which had DNA belonging to Stallworth, Brown, and McKinney.
Stallworth’s attorney noted that the slain toddler’s mouth, vagina, and anus were all examined and that there was no indication of sexual assault. However, prosecutors said the condition of her body made it hard to ascertain what she endured, including sexual trauma.
According to WABM, Birmingham police detective Jonathan Ross testified that he interviewed a 10-year-old who attended the birthday party with McKinney. Ross said the boy claimed he saw Brown and Stallworth handing out candy before spotting McKinney crying in their car.
The detective also testified that he interviewed a middle schooler who claimed that before McKinney’s kidnapping, Stallworth and Brown offered her candy after she left cheerleading practice. He claimed he reviewed surveillance footage which showed Stallworth purchasing $18 worth of candy from a gas station.
Amid their investigation, Stallworth was charged with child pornography after an inspection of his phone allegedly produced illicit photos of young girls. The alleged images did not depict the slain toddler.
While the defense has challenged the state’s credibility, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Clyde Jones ultimately decided that there was enough probable cause for the case against Stallworth to move forward to the grand jury. The grand jury will ultimately decide whether to indict Stallworth.
Brown — who is facing additional kidnapping charges for a 2018 incident involving her three children — is due in court on Friday.
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[Featured image: Kamille McKinney/Facebook]