Experts shed light on why autopsy photos in Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney’s death aren’t being shared with public

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 11:24 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 10:43 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re learning more about the kidnapping and murder of 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney.

She was taken from the Tom Brown Housing Authority Village back in 2019. One of the accused, Patrick Stallworth, is in court on two federal kidnapping charges.

On day three in court, jurors heard from the FBI agent who found McKinney’s body in a Jefferson County landfill and from the doctor who performed her autopsy. Only jurors were shown scene and autopsy photos. Prosecutors also put a time limit of three seconds for when each photo could be on screen. Multiple jurors cried while looking at them.

Birmingham defense attorney Roger Appell said the prosecution withholding the photos from the public is likely because Cupcake was such a young child and that the photos are likely horrific and gruesome.

Detectives testified that when they found her, her body looked like a doll. Jurors also learned today that she had meth and sleeping pills in her system, along with several cuts on her body. She also had a head injury consistent with being pressed against a hard surface.

Witness testimony tells us Cupcake died of suffocation from having her nose and mouth covered. Appell said prosecutors want these photos to have an impact on the jury, but it could risk the case if these pictures got out to the public.

“You’re talking about a child here, a very young child,” Appell said. “The pictures must be outrageously horrific. The victim’s family does not want or deserve to have these kinds of pictures shown to the public. They’ve got to be horrible. I don’t think the jury is sequestered in this case, and if these pictures got out, it could cause other people in the community to get involved with the jury’s deliberations, influencing people on the jury.”

Stallworth also faces state capital murder charges and will be tried for that at a later date.

The other accused is Stallworth’s former girlfriend, Derick Brown, and she is set to go to trial next month. Appell said the victim’s family have to relive horrific crimes during trials and both suspects are set to have multiple in this case.

“Until the defendant is convicted and his convictions are confirmed on appeal, there is no finality to the case, and there’s no finality for the victim’s family,” Appell said.

The government and the defense are expected to rest on Thursday. The jury could begin deliberations Friday morning.

Click here for updates throughout the trial.

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.