The Latest: mother charged in stabbing deaths of 4 children


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal stabbings of four young children in Tennessee (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

Authorities in Tennessee say the mother of four children found fatally stabbed has been charged with first-degree murder.

Shanynthia Gardner of Memphis faces four counts of first degree murder while committing aggravated child neglect; four counts of first degree murder while committing aggravated child abuse; four counts of aggravated child neglect or endangerment; and four counts of aggravated child abuse.

Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham says the victims were a 4-year-old boy; a 3-year-old girl; a 2-year-old girl; and a 6-month-old girl.

A 7-year-old boy escaped the attack. All five children were Gardner’s.

Deputies were called to an apartment complex in unincorporated Shelby County shortly before 1 p.m. Friday. They took Gardner into custody after finding the children’s bodies.

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8:35 a.m.

A news report says that the mother of four children who authorities say were fatally stabbed in a suburban Memphis apartment complex has been charged in their deaths.

Citing a charging document, The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/29bCLhx ) that the woman has been charged with four counts of first degree murder associated with aggravated child abuse, four counts of first degree murder in association with aggravated child neglect, and four counts each of aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect or endangerment.

The bodies of the four children were found Friday. The mother was taken into custody, and was questioned Friday night.

Officials have not released the ages of the children, but Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Earle Farrell said deputies responding to the scene called them “babies.”

Authorities are planning a news conference later Saturday morning to update the public.

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The mother of four young children who were stabbed to death in a gated apartment complex in Tennessee is being held for questioning, but authorities have not charged her with a crime.

The deaths of the children on Friday saddened and dismayed neighbors and county officials, as authorities try to piece together what happened in the apartment located near a verdant golf course in a typically quiet neighborhood in suburban Memphis.

Deputies were called to the complex in unincorporated Shelby County shortly before 1 p.m. Friday. Officials have not released the ages of the children, but sheriff’s office spokesman Earle Farrell said deputies responding to the scene called them “babies.”

Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham called the killings an “egregious act of evil,” though he did not specifically allege that the mother had stabbed the children.

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