Young couple charged with capital murder in death of 6-month-old
A young mother who received over $ 10,000 from social media supporters more than two years ago after her baby died is now being held in jail on $ 500,000 bail after she and her boyfriend have been arrested for the death of her child.
Brandon Gardner, 26, and Brooke Stringer, 22, were charged with capital murder and held at the Jones County Adult Detention Center on Friday morning. They made their first appearance in Jones County Courthouse that afternoon, where Judge David Lyons set their obligations at $ 500,000 each.
Rosalee Stringer died in late October 2019 – less than a month after her mother formed a relationship with Gardner, according to her Facebook page – and the cause of death was suspect to investigators at the time, but there was no no evidence that a crime had been committed. occurred.
Stringer was reportedly in the shower with the baby on a pallet on the floor in Gardner’s care. He brought the baby to her, saying something was wrong. The baby was taken to Jackson University Medical Center and died two days later.
Autopsy results that were recently received from the state’s crime analysis lab showed the type of death to be “homicide,” investigator JD Carter of the County Sheriff’s Department reported. Jones and Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin. They “worked closely” on the case for months before the charges were laid.
“There were two people in the house where a baby died of blunt trauma, according to the autopsy,” Martin said. “Their version of what happened was not possible. That’s why they’re locked up now.
The process has been slow, they both admitted, but not waiting for all the medical evidence “would have been irresponsible,” Carter said.
Investigators did not go into details of the evidence, but Carter noted that babies “are designed to absorb falls,” and the medical examiner’s report “makes it clear” that the baby’s injuries must have been caused by “trauma. blunt ”. “Babies this young aren’t able to climb high enough to cause a fall that would cause the kind of injury the baby has suffered,” he added.
This is what the famous pediatric forensic pathologist, UMC’s Dr. Scott Benton, discovered.
“This is justice for Rosalee,” Carter said.
Gardner and Stringer live together in a house in the Gitano community and now have a baby of their own. Rosalee’s father was a foreign student who attended Northeast Jones High before returning to Germany. The baby that Gardner and Stringer have together are said to be with family members now.
The two suspects appeared before the judge dressed in a hot pink jumpsuit with the words “High Risk Inmate” in bold on the back. This is because they are charged with capital murder, which carries a death sentence or life imprisonment, if they are found guilty.
“JCSD investigator JD Carter has worked diligently on this case and coordinated investigative efforts with the district attorney’s office and the state medical examiner,” Sheriff Joe Berlin said. “The very detailed and in-depth investigation involved an autopsy and many hours of interviews with witnesses and medical professionals. Unlike TV crime shows, these cases are not resolved in an hour.
Lyons explained to the suspects that they were facing a “very serious charge” and accepted Martin’s recommendation for $ 500,000 bail.
Both suspects held back tears as they stood in front of the judge and listened to the charge and ways to bond. The two said they would try to hire their own lawyer.
Stringer posted several Facebook posts while her baby was in the hospital and after her death. One was to thank the people who donated to a GoFundMe account created by a friend and raised $ 11,450 to help with funeral and medical expenses.
“I would just like to go back and start all day all over again,” Stringer wrote a month after Rosalee died. “The holidays this year will not be the same for me and my family. My little baby will be celebrating in Heaven… You are my best friend. I love you and think of you all the time Rosie.