Hearing looks ahead to first trial involving 2019 kidnapping, murder of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The first trial involving the 2019 kidnapping and murder of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney is scheduled in October 2022

Defendants Patrick Stallworth and Derick Brown will be tried first on federal kidnapping counts in individual trials this fall and later in state court for capital murder.

Stallworth appeared in federal court Monday, August 8, to determine whether the statements he made to Birmingham Police in October 2019 should be suppressed or kept from the jury.

Stallworth met with Birmingham Police five times over the course of the investigation.

Patrick Devone Stallworth
Patrick Devone Stallworth(B'ham PD)

Monday’s suppression hearing focused on Stallworth’s fourth meeting with Birmingham detectives on October 22, 2019. Defense attorney Derrick Collins argued his client’s rights were violated when he asked for an attorney and detectives continued to engage him.

The law requires police to end a conversation with a suspect if they invoke their right to an attorney.

Assistant United States Attorney Blake Milner refuted that allegation and played the video of Stallworth’s interaction with police during the hearing.

The recording shows Stallworth enter the interrogation room. Police remove his handcuffs and he becomes emotional, often inaudible. Birmingham Police Detective Jonathan Ross and his partner ask Stallworth to tell his side of the story, even encouraging him to do it for Cupcake. The video shows a picture of the child’s body lying on the interrogation room table.

Officers read Stallworth his Miranda rights and he declined to speak to police.

An officer handcuffs Stallworth reminding him he had a chance to tell his story. Stallworth continued to speak, making statements about the charges and McKinney. As officers were leaving the room Stallworth said, “Let’s talk”. He was read Miranda rights and signed a document to waive his right to an attorney. Stallworth then spoke to police for an hour.

The government argued Stallworth re-engaged police as they were leaving the room, which made the conversation legal.

Should the judge rule to suppress Stallworth’s statements to police, it’s unclear what impact that could have on his upcoming trial. A ruling is expected in the coming week.

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