A man arrested in December for allegedly causing the death of an infant he was babysitting will await trial in jail after being denied bond Tuesday afternoon.
Lashaw Franklin Brannon, 24, 254 Mt. Joy Church Road, Union, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Ofice with murder and homicide by child abuse. Brannon is charged in the death of 9-month-old Talayna Renwick, 413 Toluca St., Union, who was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Greenville Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The infant had been transported to Greenville Memorial on Dec. 14 after being rushed to Wallace Thomson Hospital by her mother.
Sheriff David Taylor announced Brannon’s arrest during a press conference held the afternoon of the child’s death. Taylor said that Brannon was initially arrested for disorderly conduct when he became belligerent during questioning by investigators. Brannon was placed in jail on the disorderly conduct charge and has remained there since being charged with the child’s death. It is where he will remain until trial after his request for bond was rejected Tuesday afternoon in General Sessions Court at the Union County Courthouse.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Brannon, through attorney Eric Delaney of the Union County Public Defender’s Office, asked Judge Lee S. Alford of York for bond. In making his motion that his client be granted bond, Delaney stated that while he was facing serious charges, Brannon did not constitute a threat to the community. He pointed out that Brannon had been caring for the child over a two-week period prior to her death and that he’d also been a babysitter for some 20 small children of family members and had never behaved in a violent manner toward any of the children.
Delaney also argued that Brannon, a lifelong resident of Union County who lives with his mother, was not a flight risk. He pointed out that Brannon did not have much if any money or even a bank account; did not have a car or even a driver’s license; and did not have a passport.
In addition, Delaney said that on the day the child was injured, Brannon made four phone calls to family members and to Talayna’s mother telling them that something was wrong with the child. Delaney said Brannon also made a fifth call to 911 to summon help but the child’s mother returned and took her daughter to the hospital before EMS could arrive.
While admitting Brannon had told two different stories about what had happened, Delaney said that in both cases Brannon had said the child was injured as result of an accident. He reiterated that Brannon had made four phone calls alerting people to the child’s problems as well as calling 911 to get help for the child.
Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, however, argued against Brannon being granted bond. Brackett pointed out that when she left her child in Brannon’s care on Dec. 14, Talayna’s mother described her daughter as being healthy and happy. He said there was nothing wrong with the child, that there were no signs of injury when her mother left Talayna with Brannon.
Brackett said Brannon called a relative twice and Taylana’s mother once who also called him back. He said when the mother returned after speaking Brannon she immediately realized something was wrong with her daughter and took her to Wallace Thomson Hospital without waiting for EMS to arrive.
From the time she was at Wallace Thomson where she was stabilized so she could be flown by helicopter to Greenville Memorial where she remained for the final two days of her life, Brackett said the medical staff treating Talayna all stated that her injuries were not consistent with the stories Brannon told investigators. Brackett said in the first story, Brannon said Talayna had rolled off a bed while he was in another room. In the second story, Brackett said Brannon claimed he’d been holding Talayna and she’d slipped through his arms and fell, hitting her head on a table.
Brackett said neither story jibes with the injuries observed by the medical staff at Wallace Thomson and at Greenville Memorial and, later, by the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Talayna’s body. He said the consensus of the medical personnel who examined Talayna was that the injuries she suffered were not the result of a fall a few feet to the floor from a bed or an adult’s arms. As an example, Brackett said the kind of injuries Talayna suffered would have required something like the impact of being hurled head first into the windshield of a car during a collision. He said the medical evidence shows clearly that Talayna’s injuries were not the result of an accident like that described by Brannon.
In arguing that Brannon was a threat to the community who should not be granted bond, Brackett pointed to Brannon’s criminal record which includes convictions for burglary, breach of peace aggravated in nature, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, breaking into a motor vehicle, and unlawful neglect of a child. Brackett also pointed out that a bench warrant had been issued for Brannon in 2009 for failure to appear in court. He said authorities were unable to locate Brannon for seven months during 2009.
Taken together, Brackett said the evidence and his criminal record show Brannon is not only a danger to the community but also a flight risk.
Alford agreed, saying that based on the allegations and evidence presented plus the fact that Brannon had failed to appear in court as ordered to do so in 2009 and was able to remain at-large for seven months he found Brannon to be both a danger to the community and a substantial flight risk. In addition, Alford pointed out that the penalty for the crimes for which Brannon is charged is a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.
In denying Brannon bond, Alford directed Brackett to make it a priority to come up with a date for Brannon’s trial within 90 days.