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An Alabama couple, who have since tried to pass blame off on each other, have both been indicted for the 2019 abduction and murder of 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney.
After convening in December to assess the evidence against the pair, a Jefferson grand jury returned indictments for Patrick Stallworth, 40, and Derick Irisha Brown, 30, for capital murder of a child under the age of 14 and capital murder during a kidnapping, according to AL.com.
The couple is also facing federal charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap a minor victim after a federal grand jury convened earlier this year, according to the United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Alabama.
McKinney disappeared from a birthday party in Tom Brown Village on Oct. 12, 2019, sparking an exhaustive search for the young girl that lasted 10 days. Her remains were discovered in a Jefferson County landfill on the night of Oct. 22, 2019.
An autopsy would later determine that the 3-year-old died from asphyxiation by suffocation, and she was found with toxic levels of methamphetamine and Trazodone in her system.
Authorities were able to link McKinney’s killing to Stallworth and Brown — who had been dating at the time — after Stallworth was captured on surveillance footage at a store near the location of the abduction, AL.com reported.
Other children also reported seeing a vehicle that matched the description of Stallworth’s Toyota Sequoia and said they had seen a man in the area trying to hand candy to children.
A prosecutor said in a probable cause hearing in 2019 that investigators had discovered a plastic sheet in the living room of Brown’s apartment splattered with blood stains, local station WVTM reported.
Brown had also eventually led investigators to McKinney’s body — but since, both suspects have tried to shift blame on the other. She told authorities that Stallworth had forced the young girl to perform oral sex, while Stallworth claimed that Brown had wanted to keep the child.
Stallworth told authorities that after telling Brown “that’s not your child,” she suggested he “do something sexual to the child,” but he refused, AL.com reports.
Stallworth also told investigators he saw Brown “place her hands over Cupcake’s nose and mouth.”
Authorities said in court in 2019 that the same night McKinney disappeared, Stallworth had gone to a convenience store near his home to buy an energy drink and a pill for erectile dysfunction.
Jefferson County Judge Clyde Jones set a pre-trial court date of March 31 for both suspects, local station WBMA reports. If they are convicted of the charges against them, they could face the death penalty.
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