BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As a young woman, Derick Brown pled with a judge to help keep her from becoming a “failure,” according to a letter uncovered in court records.
Brown was charged Thursday with capital murder after Birmingham Police say she and her boyfriend, Patrick Stallworth, kidnapped and killed 3-year-old Kamille McKinney.
In the letter written a decade ago, Brown described a violent and unstable childhood and a desperation to keep her family together.
Her criminal record in Alabama stretches back to 2009 when Brown was 18 years old. At the time, she was using the alias Quentesa Evon Jackson, according to court records. Jackson was charged with burglary and theft of property and eventually found guilty of theft.
She was sentenced to two years of probation. Court records show she violated probation by failing to report to her probation officer and failing to pay court fees.
Jackson was arrested in December 2010 by Birmingham Police and charged with two felonies, robbery and fraudulent use of a credit card.
In January, she wrote a letter to the judge over the case, apologizing for lying during a court hearing. In the letter, she wrote, “I was scared from all I heard about you being mean and all I wanted to be with my babies and fiancé and father of my kids.” The then 20-year-old described her concerns for piling bills and her inability to buy diapers and baby wipes. “[My fiancé] only makes $7.50 a hour part-time,” she wrote. “I don’t want to be the reason we loses [sic] our home and our kids.”
The letter reveals concern of what would happen to her kids if she went to jail, writing, “DHR order me and my fiancé, the father of my kids, to keep a stable house, job and make sure we supply the needs for our kids.” Jackson said she lied to the judge because “I just thought it was my only choice,” and “using that lady credit card was one of the most terrible decision I ever made.”
Jackson goes on to detail her childhood which she said included sexual abuse, treatment in mental-health facilities and years spent in foster care. “I made a promise to myself that I won’t become a drug addict, do drugs or drink or hang around people that do. I would not lose my kids to (DHR) like my mother did.”
She asked the judge, “Don’t let me become a statistic, a failure.”
Jackson wrote, “I only have one chance to get it right to get my kids out of DHR.” She added, “my kids all I got.”
While sentencing was pending in this case, Jackson’s probation from the 2009 theft charge was revoked and she was admitted to Tutwiler Prison for Women in March 2011. She served 6 months and 18 days.
After her release, she was sentenced to three years of probation for the December 2010 crimes, according to court records.
There were no charges in Alabama against Brown, or her alias, again until 2018.
According to court records, DHR removed three of Brown’s children from her care in July 2018 after a family member reported “Brown placed one of the children in the washing machine for punishment.”
DHR gave a family member, who already had custody of one of Brown’s children, temporary custody of the three others, according to court records.
The day after her children were removed by DHR, Brown went to her relative’s house who reported Brown began yelling and “pulled a large black handgun and pointed it at her,” and then took her kids back.
The family member called police and according to an incident report, told officers she believed Brown, “would kill the children and herself before letting anyone get the children.”
A second family member told officers Brown might be with her boyfriend, Patrick Stallworth, or headed to Georgia to be with family, according to the incident report.
Brown’s car was spotted at a hotel later that afternoon and when officers tried to stop her, they said she left with her children, leading officers on a chase. She eventually crashed and was taken into custody. She was charged with kidnapping, menacing, assault and attempting to elude. Her children were not hurt in the crash.
The kidnapping charges were dismissed after her attorney argued that without a legal order to remove her children from her home, she still had custody and could not kidnap them.
She was indicted on the kidnapping charges by a grand jury in March 2019 and was re-arrested on the charges.
She was released shortly after her arrest.
That case is scheduled to go to trial in November, according to court records.