Commonwealth v. Brenda Kay Garner; Judge Finds Babysitter Guilty of Killing Toddler

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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 found guilty of Second Degree Felony Murder and Child Abuse by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick after a trial.  A presentence report was ordered, and Judge Padrick will sentence Garner on October 16, 2013.  She faces a maximum punishment of 50 years in prison.


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.