Last updated: September 14. 2013 7:38AM - 2463 Views
By - cwarner@civitasmedia.com

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UNION — A Union man charged in the death of an infant has entered a guilty plea and will be sentenced in November.

Lashawn Brannon, 24, 254 Mt. Joy Church Road, Union, was arrested in December by the Union County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the death of nine month old Talayna Renwick of 413 Toluca St., Union. Brannon was charged by the sheriff’s office with murder and homicide by child abuse in Talayna’s death. He has been held in the Union County Jail since that time.

Sixteenth Circuit Deputy Solicitor John Anthony said that in a hearing in York on Aug. 20 before Judge John C. Hayes III, Brannon pleaded guilty to attempted murder. Anthony said that Brannon is scheduled to be sentenced at the November session of General Sessions Court in Union County. He said that Brannon could face up to 30 years in prison.

Anthony declined to give any further details about the case which he said will be presented during Brannon’s sentencing hearing.

Brannon was initially arrested by the sheriff’s office and charged with disorderly conduct. While being questioned by deputies about Talayna’s death, Brannon became belligerent and was taken into custody.

After Brannon was charged in Talayna’s death, Sheriff David Taylor held a press conference announcing his arrest. Taylor said that Talayna’s mother had left her in Brannon’s care at 708B Timberlake Road Extension. He said the mother later received a call from Brannon who said Talayna had fallen off the bed. The mother returned to the residence where she immediately realized something was wrong with her daughter and took her to Wallace Thomson Hospital.

Taylor said a deputy was dispatched to the hospital around 4 p.m. that afternoon where emergency room personnel were working to stabilize the child. The incident report states the responding deputy was met at the emergency room by an EMS worker who told him law enforcement needed to look at the child who had bruises on her face. The deputy observed the bruises to the child’s face and was told by a doctor that Talayna had head injuries and would be airlifted to Greenville Memorial for medical treatment. Taylor said emergency room personnel were able to stabilize Talayna to the point where she could be airlifted to Greenville Memorial where she remained until her death two days later.

The warrant for Brannon’s arrest on the murder charge stated that “while at 708B Timberlake Road Extension,” he killed the infant “with malice aforethought by fracturing the child’s skull.” The warrant for his arrest for homicide by child abuse stated he caused Talayna’s death “while committing child abuse by facturing the child’s skull,” and “the child’s death occurred under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.”

During the press conference, Taylor was asked how Brannon came to be hired to babysit Talayna. He said the mother met Brannon through a member of his family who worked with her. Taylor said that it was at the coworker’s home that the mother left the child in Brannon’s care. He said she didn’t know Brannon by name, only by a nickname.

Taylor added that the mother also didn’t know about Brannon’s criminal record which he said included a prior conviction for child neglect.

In discussing the incident in December, Taylor urged parents to check into the background of the people they are considering entrusting their children’s care to. He reiterated this Friday afternoon.

“What people need to do is if they’ve got someone they are looking to keep their chilren, whether it’s an individual or daycare, they need to research them,” Taylor said. “Ask if they’ve kept anybody else’s children and try to make contact with those parents. Look and see what kind of environment the child is going to be in.”

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

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