An Alabama couple federally charged with the kidnapping and murder of a three-year-old girl have been hit with state charges for the little girl’s death.
Patrick Devone Stallworth, 40, and Derick Irisha Brown, 30, were on Tuesday both indicted on state charges of capital murder during a kidnapping, and capital murder of a child under the age of 14.
They face the death penalty if convicted in the case of Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney, who was abducted during a birthday party in October 2019, and whose disappearance sparked a 10-day manhunt that captivated the state.
The little girl was found dead in a dumpster with high levels of meth and sedatives in her systems.
Investigators say they suspected Stallworth and Brown within 24 hours of McKinney’s abduction.
Stallworth (right) told investigators that he saw McKinney for the first time in the couple’s apartment after Brown (left) allegedly brought the girl home
Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney (pictured) ingested methamphetamine and Trazodone, according to autopsy reports
In December 2019 a two-and-a-half hour testimony from homicide Detective Jonathan Ross detailed the pair’s actions leading up to McKinney’s death.
Ross testified that Stallworth purchased $81.91 worth of candy at a Shell gas station near Tom Brown Village, where McKinney lived, and surveillance footage showed him attempting to give it away to children.
Phone records placed Stallworth near Tom Brown Village at the time of the little girl’s abduction.
Minutes after buying the candy, two preteen girls were leaving cheerleading practice at Hayes K-8 school when the couple approached them in a blue SUV, Ross said.
One of the girls, aged 11, said Stallworth told her: ‘I’m looking for a girl that looks like you,’ and offered them candy.
Ross said a 10-year-old boy told him that McKinney got into the car with the couple and that she was crying.
Testimony also showed Stallworth purchasing an energy drink and an erectile dysfunction pill at a convenience store near his home on the night of the abduction.
After hearing the young girls’ story of being offered candy, detectives began to visit businesses around Tom Brown Village in hope of finding additional security footage.
Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney’s disappearance sparked a massive manhunt in October 2019
Patrick Devone Stallworth (left), 40, and Derick Irisha Brown (right), 30, are facing state and federal charges
The Shell station provided footage of the blue Toyota Sequoia that belonged to Stallworth and photos of Stallworth entering the store around noon.
TIMELINE OF KAMILLE’S DISAPPEARANCE
October 12, 2019 – Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney is reported missing from a birthday party at a playground in Birmingham at 8.30pm
October 14, 2019 – Patrick Devone Stallworth, 39, and his 29-year-old girlfriend, Derick Irisha Brown, are arrested on unrelated charges and named as persons of interest in Kamille’s disappearance
October 18, 2019 – Police release surveillance video from the night Kamille was abducted, which showed a man approaching her at a park near the Tom Brown public housing projects before he walked off with her
October 22, 2019 – Police announce that Kamille’s remains were found in a trash bin at a landfill near where the three-year-old was taken
October 24, 2019 – Police formally charge Stallworth and Brown with capital murder of a child under age 14
July 29, 2020 – A federal grand jury indicts Stallworth and Brown on conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping resulting in the death of a minor victim
August 20, 2020 – Stallworth and Brown both plead not guilty.
January 5, 2021 – The pair are indicted on state charges of kidnapping and murder. A judge sets a pre-trial hearing date for March 31.
The suspects were arrested two days after the child went missing, on unrelated charges.
Stallworth was charged with seven counts of possession of child pornography after investigators found multiple photos on his phone – none of which were McKinney.
Brown was charged with violating probation conditions from a previous kidnapping case involving her own children.
Both Brown and Stallworth blame each other.
Ross said that Brown told police she saw Stallworth forcing the child to perform oral sex on him at their Center Point apartment.
She claimed she went to sleep and when she woke the next morning and asked about where the child was, he told her she was high.
Ross said Brown said she later saw Stallworth leave the apartment with a trash bag.
Brown gave investigators hints about where McKinney’s remains were located, leading authorities to discovering her body in a dumpster.
On October 22, 2019, McKinney’s remains were found, and the pair were charged with murder on October 24, 2019.
Ross said Stallworth admitted to seeing McKinney for the first time on the night of her abduction.
Stallworth claimed he walked into the couple’s apartment to find Brown sitting with McKinney on the couch.
He reportedly told Brown: ‘That’s not your child.’
Brown said she wanted to ‘keep’ the young child, Stallworth claimed.
Brown then suggested that Stallworth ‘do something sexual to the child’ before he refused and went outside to smoke a cigarette, Ross said.
During this time Brown had removed the child’s clothes and hair bows to give her a bath.
Later, Stallworth alleged seeing Brown ‘put her hands over Cupcake’s nose and mouth’ when McKinney was asleep.
Authorities previously released surveillance images of a male suspect and the SUV they were believed to be traveling in. Police confirmed they recovered this Toyota Sequoia
Surveillance footage at a convenience store showed Stallworth purchasing candy before he allegedly attempted to give it away to children
An inmate at the same jail as Stallworth claimed he admitted he ‘accidentally killed the baby’.
Testimony showed that investigators removed a plastic mattress covering from the couple’s living room that had blood stains in several places.
Lab testing revealed that the blood had mixed traces of DNA belonging to Stallworth, Brown and McKinney.
DNA from Stallworth showed up under the child’s fingernails. Officers said that while Stallworth was in custody he had scratches on his chest.
Stallworth’s attorney pointed out that McKinney had been swabbed for DNA and medical staff found no sign of sexual assault.
However, the condition of McKinney’s body after it was found by authorities made it difficult to if anything sexual had been done to the child.
The child’s cause of death was asphyxiation by suffocation. The toddler had toxic levels of methamphetamine and the anti-depressant Trazodone in her body.
Stallworth had a prescription for Trazodone but he claimed Brown was stealing his pills and taking them with meth.
‘The kidnapping of a child is one of a parent’s biggest fears,’ said Lloyd C. Peeples, First Assistant United States Attorney, when the couple were federally charged with the kidnapping in July.
‘Despite their best efforts, federal, state, and local law enforcement were not able to bring the three-year-old victim home to her family.
‘However, we hope that today’s charges will be a step towards bringing justice for her and her family.’
The state charges come after the pair were indicted federally with kidnap by a grand jury in July. In August they were arraigned and pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday afternoon Jefferson County Judge Clyde Jones set a March 31 date for a pre-trial hearing.