BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The couple accused of kidnapping a 3-year-old girl in Birmingham in 2019 will spend the rest of their lives in federal prison.
On Friday morning, Patrick Stallworth and Derick Brown were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on federal kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap charges. Both of their sentences will run consecutive to one another.
Stallworth and Derick Brown were both found guilty of kidnapping which led to the 2019 death of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney.
McKinney’s disappearance from a birthday party made national headlines. Law enforcement searched for 10 days, ultimately finding the toddler’s body in a landfill.
Criminal defense lawyer Tommy Spina said there are a lot of moving factors that go into a sentencing before a judge makes the final decision.
Spina said among other factors, courts consider both federal sentencing guidelines and statutory range of punishment.
Where those two merge, he said, is the range of punishment a judge may impose.
“In this instance, because of the nature of the crime, the base offense level is literally off the charts and the only guideline sentence that could be imposed is life in prison,” Spina said.
Spina said in this case, sentencing guidelines take into account that a child was a victim of this kidnapping.
“Based on the nature of this case, I liken it to a professional boxing match,” said Attorney Spina. “It’s like receiving the knockout punch in the first round, but still having to fight for 15 more rounds.”
Spina said that Stallworth and Brown are also facing state capital murder charges in Jefferson County. So far, he said they have only been found guilty of kidnapping which led to a death. Spina also said today’s federal sentencing will have no effect on the next phase at the state level.
“They’re parallel actions,” said Attorney Spina. “They aren’t considered double jeopardy. They’re two separate offenses. They’re two separate sovereigns in the state of Alabama and the federal government- two separate crown wearers.”
In capital cases, Spina said the only two sentences that could be handed out are life without parole or death by lethal injection.