Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Brenda Kay Garner, 35 years old, who previously resided in the 4900 block of Pimlico Circle in Virginia Beach, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. for charges of Second Degree Felony Murder and Child Abuse. Judge Padrick sentenced Garner to 45 years in prison with 23 years suspended leaving 22 years to serve. Further, Judge Padrick 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.”
Garner was found guilty of these offenses after a trial before Judge Padrick on August 13, 2013. The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on November 14, 2012, paramedics were called to a home in the Kempsville area of Virginia Beach because a 2-year-old child was unconscious. Brenda Kay Garner lived in the home and babysat the child. When they arrived, paramedics found toddler Garrett King unconscious and struggling to breathe. Garrett was rushed to Sentara Leigh Hospital and then to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) due to the severity of his injuries. Preliminary examinations revealed that Garrett was suffering from a skull fracture as well as swelling and bruising on the brain.
Garrett was pronounced dead at CHKD on November 15, 2012. An autopsy revealed that Garrett died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators with the Virginia Beach Police Department determined that Garrett’s fatal injuries occurred during the time that he was in the care of Brenda Garner. Garner initially denied knowing anything about the source of Garrett’s injuries. She was re-interviewed by homicide detectives on November 17, 2012, and admitted repeatedly 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.
The case was prosecuted by Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul J. Powers and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney M. Janeice Robinson. Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.