The family of one of the two people accused of killing Alabama toddler Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney has issued a statement to local media, expressing their shock and dismay over the allegations.
The statement was issued on Thursday — the same day both Patrick Stallworth, 39, and his girlfriend, Derick Brown, 29, were formally charged with capital murder.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of little Kamille McKinney,” reads the statement from Stallworth’s relatives, which was provided to WBMA. “This precious child should have had a chance to enjoy life and pursue her dreams.”
The statement adds: “We can’t find enough words to express our grief, and we are distraught by the fact that a member of the Stallworth family is charged with this heinous act. Patrick Stallworth’s fate will be determined by a system of laws — a system that we revere and respect.
“We offer our heartfelt prayers and sympathy to her family, but we know this is not enough,” the statement continues. “Patrick was reared in a family with strong values. The actions he is alleged to have done in no way reflect who we are as a family. We ask that our family not be judged by the actions of one individual. We abhor senseless violence, and even more so, we condemn acts of violence against defenseless children.”
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PEOPLE learns Birmingham investigators presented their evidence to prosecutors Thursday, and warrants for both suspects were issued for charges of capital murder of a child under the age of 14.
If convicted, the two suspects could be sentenced to death. They are both being held without bond.
Male Suspect Accused of Child Porn
Stallworth was charged weeks ago with four counts of possession of obscene material of persons under 17 years of age and three counts of possession with intent to disseminate obscene material after allegedly discovering illicit imagery on his phone.
Smith said both suspects were first detained on Oct. 13 — the day after Kamille vanished from an outdoor birthday party that was held in the common area of an apartment complex.
Brown has been in jail, without bond, since Oct. 13, after her probation was revoked following a 2018 case in which she was accused of abducting her three children from state custody.
In that case, Brown allegedly led cops on a chase on July 13, 2018, before crashing into an innocent motorist and then, a sheriff’s SUV. Her three children were in the vehicle during the pursuit and at the time of the crash, but were not injured.
Brown was charged at that time with three counts of kidnapping, second-degree assault, attempting to elude and four counts of reckless endangerment, according to AL.com. She is set to go on trial in that case on Nov. 18.
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Neither suspect has a connection to Kamille or her family, police have confirmed.
Investigators believe the pair had thought about committing such a crime, and allegedly seized the opportunity to abduct Kamille when they saw an opportunity.
Police have not said how the girl died, or how long she may have been dead by the time she was found.
It is unclear at this time what the obscene images allegedly found on Stallworth’s phone depict, but police said they involved underage girls, none of whom was Kamille.
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The previous charges Stallworth had faced, police noted, are unrelated to 3-year-old Kamille’s disappearance and death.
It is unclear if either suspect has appeared in court to enter pleas to the charges against them.
Attorneys for them spoke to AL.com about the allegations in Kamille’s death.
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“He’s just taken aback that he’s considered as a suspect in the disappearance of this lovely child,” Stallworth’s attorney Emory Anthony told the paper.
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Adam Danneman, a public defender representing Brown, said she “adamantly denies” knowing anything about the abduction and is “horrified” by the case.
Police believe there may be additional suspects, and ask that those with any information regarding Kamille’s abduction and death call the Birmingham Police tip line at (205) 297-8413 or Crime Stoppers at (205) 254-7777.