Date: April 7, 2003 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, Pager
Babson Park Woman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder In Death of Her 4-Week-Old Daughter

Deputies arrested 18-year-old Brandylon Gilbert, DOB 8/9/84, of 419 5th Avenue in Babson Park, on April 7, 2003, charging her with 2nd degree murder in the death of her 4-week-old daughter De'Anna.  Deputies responded to the home after EMS arrived and found an unresponsive baby shortly after midnight Friday night, April 4th. Brandylon was home alone with her 2-year-old son and the newborn, and stated she put the baby to sleep on her bed and later found the baby not breathing.  When EMS responded, they were unable to revive De'Anna, and she was pronounce dead at a short time later at Lake Wales Hospital.

After an autopsy, performed by Doctor Melamud, determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head, detectives interviewed Brandylon again, at length. Brandylon gave this account, according to the affidavit:

  • On 4/4/03 at approximately 2130 hours, Brandylon was sitting on the end of her bed watching television.  De'Anna was laying on the bed, crying, and Brandylon's 2-year-old son was running around the bedroom.  Brandylon picked up the baby and punched her twice on her forehead and placed her back on the bed.  Shortly after midnight, Brandylon called "911" to report the incident.
  • The autopsy showed 2 bruises on the baby's forehead - one above the left eye and one above the right eye.  During the second interview on Sunday, Brandylon confessed to punching the victim on the forehead, stating she was "stressing out" about personal issues, she has a "bad temper", and the baby was crying.

Deputies called the Department of Children and Families upon arrival to the residence on Friday evening, which is standard procedure, because there was another child at the home.  The Department of Children and Families returned to the residence on Saturday morning to shelter the 2-year-old.

Brandylon Gilbert was booked into the Polk County Jail and charged with 2nd Degree Murder (F-1).  She is being held on $40,000 bond.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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