2 arrested on capital murder charges in Jones Co

L to R: Brandon Gardner and Brooke Stringer
L to R: Brandon Gardner and Brooke Stringer(Jones County Sheriff's Department)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 11:46 AM CST
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Jones County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a man and a woman on capital murder charges in the 2019 death of a six-month-old girl.

According to the sheriff’s office, 22-year-old Brooke Stringer, of Laurel, and her boyfriend 26-year-old Brandon Gardner, of Taylorsville, were both arrested and charged with capital murder Friday morning.

Investigators said the child was reportedly hurt at the couple’s home in the Gitano community on Oct. 26, 2019.

Deputies said the girl was not breathing when paramedics got to the scene and was rushed to South Central Regional Medical Center. The child was later airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center and died of her injuries on Oct. 28, 2019.

According to Jones County Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin, the cause of death was determined to be homicide brought on by blunt force trauma to the head.

“Based on the findings from the autopsy and the report from Scott Benton from UMMC, we felt that at this point it was an appropriate time to charge them because their statements are not consistent with the medical reports from the Medical Examiner and Dr. Benton,” said Martin.

The lengthy investigation was launched by JCSD investigators, the Jones County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

“JCSD investigator Sgt. J.D. Carter has worked diligently on this case and coordinated investigative efforts with the District Attorney’s Office and State Medical Examiner,” said Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin. “The very detailed and thorough investigation involved an autopsy and many, many hours of interviews of witnesses and medical professionals. Unlike television crime shows, these cases aren’t solved in an hour.”

Stringer’s and Gardner’s bonds were set at $500,000 each during their initial appearance in Jones County Justice Court at 1 p.m. 

The two suspects are currently being held at the Jones County Adult Detention Facility.

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