Update 10/16: Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. sentenced Brenda Garner Wednesday to 45 years in prison, with 23 years suspended, leaving 22 years to serve. Judge Padrick also ordered that upon her release from prison, Garner have no unsupervised contact with children, remain on supervised probation indefinitely, and that she cannot provide childcare- paid or unpaid.
Upon pronouncing his sentence, Judge Padrick stated that Garner has “sent a chill down the spine of every working parent in the area.”
VIRGINIA BEACH -- A Virginia Beach mother was convicted Tuesday in the death of a child she was babysitting.
Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. found Brenda Kay Garner, 35, guilty of second degree murder and child abuse.
Police say 2-year-old Garrett King had been dropped off at Garner's home on Pamlico Circle around 8:00 a.m. on November 14.
Paramedics were later called to the home and found King unconscious and struggling to breathe. He was taken to CHKD where he died the following day.
An autopsy found Garrett died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Prosecutors say Garner initially denied knowing the source of the injuries but later admitted to detectives to sweeping Garrett’s feet out from under him. This caused Garrett’s head to strike the floor with such force that his skull was fractured and his brain began to swell and bruise.
Garner is set to be sentenced Oct. 16. She faces a maximum punishment of 50 years in prison.
The family of Garrett King released the following statement:
“Garrett was an incredible little person – cheerful, affectionate, eager to learn, bursting with energy- and his family misses him every day. We miss seeing him cuddle with his dogs and cats, hearing him shout at the TV during a race, or watching him tumble around the yard like an NFL receiver. We have spent the past 9 months praying for justice, and we are very pleased with the outcome of today’s trial. The kindness and professional dedication of the City of Virginia Beach and the network of doctors at CHKD is unparalleled, and we sincerely thank every person involved in honoring our sweet boy. As we move forward toward healing, we ask that the press continue to respect our need for privacy.” – Jonathan and Emily King