BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Thursday, both the state and defense rested their case, leaving the fate of a man accused of kidnapping and murdering a 3-year-old girl to a jury.

Patrick Stallworth is accused with his girlfriend, Derick Irisha Brown, of kidnapping and killing Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney during a party at Tom Brown Village in Avondale in 2019. During the trial, Stallworth and his lawyers argued that Brown forced him to kidnap McKinney and that she was the one to actually kill her.

Two dramatic pieces of evidence were presented to the jury Thursday. Jeannie Miller, a detective with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, testified about a series of text messages that Stallworth allegedly sent to his aunt, Alesia Price, while in the custody of the JCSO. 

One message read “l’m really sorry I did this. It was an accident.”

Later in the day, Phyllis Cox also took the stand. Cox, a former nurse at the Pickens County Jail where Stallworth had been held leading up to the trial, testified she overheard a conversation between Stallworth and one of her co-workers, Toni Crowell, in which Stallworth allegedly said, “I may have raped her, but I didn’t kill her. She did that.” However, Crowell was later called to testify, where she claimed she didn’t recall Stallworth saying that.

The state questioned Crowell’s reliability, alleging that Stallworth and her had a romantic relationship. During the trial, prosecutors played a phone call for the jury in which Stallworth told her he loved her.

Stallworth is also facing capital murder and kidnapping charges in Jefferson County criminal court. Brown has yet to stand trial in either federal or state court.