Lawyer says kidnapping suspect has serious mental disorder, but man in surveillance video isn’t him

‘The world is basically prejudicing this whole community by saying, “That’s him,”’ a lawyer for suspect Darriynn Brown says

Nathan Place
New York
Saturday 29 May 2021 17:07 BST
Darriynn Brown, 18, has been charged with kidnapping four-year-old Cash Gernon
Darriynn Brown, 18, has been charged with kidnapping four-year-old Cash Gernon (Dallas County Jail)

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The teenager accused of kidnapping and killing a four-year-old boy in Dallas, Texas has a serious mental disorder, according to his lawyer. And the lawyer says police actually have the wrong suspect.

Heath Harris, the attorney for 18-year-old suspect Darriynn Brown, spoke publicly about the case for the first time on Friday. Mr Harris says he has seen the disturbing surveillance footage of a man snatching four-year-old Cash Gernon from his crib, but insists that the kidnapper is not his client.

“The world is basically prejudicing this whole community by saying, ‘That’s him,’” Mr Harris told The Dallas Morning News.

The lawyer also told the paper that he will be requesting a mental health evaluation for Mr Brown, who he says has a severe mental disorder.

Cash went missing on the morning of 15 May, after spending the night with his twin brother at the home of his father’s girlfriend, Monica Sherrod. Home security footage shows that around 5am, a man entered the twins’ room and removed Cash from his bed. At about 11am, Ms Sherrod called the police to report him missing.

Later that morning, a jogger found Cash’s bloody body on the street about eight blocks from the house. Police say he was stabbed to death.

When Ms Sherrod viewed the surveillance footage, she told the police the intruder was Mr Brown. She reportedly recognized him because he attended school with her son.

Mr Brown has been charged with burglary and kidnapping, but police say no murder charges will be filed until tests of the evidence have been finished.

“Dallas investigators anticipate additional charges, pending results from a forensic analysis,” the Dallas Police Department said in a statement.

Mr Harris has denied all of these accusations.

“This is not an open and shut case,” the lawyer said. “Even if you believe that’s [Mr Brown] on the video, it doesn’t mean he killed the kid.”

Mr Brown is being held at Dallas County Jail, where his bail has been set at $1.625 million.

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