An attorney for a Texas man accused of killing 4-year-old Cash Gernon says his client is innocent and suffering from mental health issues.
Darriynn Brown, 18, is behind bars in Dallas, facing kidnapping and burglary charges in connection with the disappearance of Cash. A capital murder charge will likely follow after forensics testing results are available.
Brown’s lawyer, Heath Harris, told Fox 4 that he’s ready to defend his client; he challenged a witness who said Brown appeared on security footage removing the child from his room last month.
“They may have a witness that is testifying that it’s Brown, but I want an opportunity to challenge that witness,” Harris said. “Even if you believe that is Brown in the video taking cash out of the crib, ok then what happened? What happened? You have three seconds.”
“Based on what I believe, I am going to be able to support this kid is schizophrenic. We want to see if this was a situation where it’s a ‘who done it?’ Or a simple question of, ‘why wasn’t this prevented?’”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a passerby found Cash’s body on May 15, lying in the street in the Mountain Creek neighborhood of Dallas, covered in his own blood at around 6 a.m. The boy’s body was found around a mile away from his home.
Neighbor Antwainese Square, 39, said that she was jogging when she discovered Cash.
“I noticed the baby had ants at the bottom of his feet. So I knew he was deceased then,” Square said. “It was heart-wrenching because this baby could have been no more than 5.”
According to the child’s guardian, identified as his father’s girlfriend, Monica Sherrod, Cash was sleeping in his room when Brown broke into the home’s backdoor and kidnapped him. She added that security footage caught the incident as Cash slept in a toddler crib with his twin brother, Carter.
Footage obtained by DailyMail shows a video of a man who appears to be Brown inside Cash’s bedroom on the night in question. The man in the video is seen grabbing the sleeping boy and fleeing the residence.
Brown is also accused of trying to take another child from the same neighborhood in February.
According to an affidavit, the homeowner confronted Brown after he allegedly came into his residence and began going through rooms and closets. The man told police that he picked up a kitchen knife and told Brown to leave, eventually forcing him out. But, the affidavit says, Brown came back and began kicking a door between the garage and the home.
When the homeowner opened the door, Brown allegedly came into the house and punched him in the forehead.
At that point, according to the affidavit, Brown went into the living room where the homeowner’s 2-year-old granddaughter was sleeping and picked her up, heading toward the laundry room in the back of the house.
Brown allegedly ignored the grandfather’s demands to put the girl down, so the homeowner took the girl out of Brown’s arms and put her back on the sofa in the living room.
Then, the affidavit says, the homeowner returned to the kitchen and confronted Brown, who punched him in the face and ran out the back door. The man also told police that he ran into Brown two weeks later at Walmart. Brown apologized, the man said, saying “he was sorry for breaking into his house and trying to take his grandchild.”
The homeowner had decided at the time not to press charges initially but did so after Cash Gernon was found dead.
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[Feature Photo: Cash Gernon/Family Handout]