UPDATE: Brandon guilty of depraved-heart murder

Christopher Brandon of Verona was found guilty of depraved-heart murder for the 2007 death of his live-in girlfriend’s 15-month-old son Xavier Staples.

Depraved-heart murder is a murder that is not a premeditated act. It is committed without any regard for human life.

Brandon was sentenced to life in prison.

The jury deliberated for about three hours before coming back with a verdict.

Police said Brandon, 30, called 911 at 1 a.m. on June 11, 2007, telling dispatchers that the baby was not breathing. The child was taken from the North Mississippi Medical Center to Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, where he died a few hours later.

Said former Verona Police Chief Desiree Kershner at the trial: “Mr. Brandon told us that the boy fell off the bed and hit his head on a coffee table, but after the autopsy report came in, it showed that the injuries the child sustained were from shaken baby syndrome.”

Cause of death was listed as severe head trauma. Some broken ribs, which were in the process of healing, were also discovered during the autopsy.

Kershner said Brandon was the only person at home with the child at the time of his death. The mother was at work.

NEMS Daily Journal