Lufkin mom accused of trying to drown her daughter, daughter "decided to play dead"

Lufkin mom accused of trying to drown her daughter, daughter "decided to play dead"

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Tuesday that an arrest warrant has been issued for 37-year-old Shari Kamile Brandon of Lufkin. She will be charged with the capital murder of a child under ten years old.

The warrant is the result of a wreck in which Brandon crashed her car near the intersection of Farm to Market Road 1878 and County Road 228 just northeast of Nacogdoches on Saturday.

A state trooper responded to that crash called for back-up from the Texas Rangers, saying he'd been told by other emergency workers and eye-witnesses that Brandon had attempted to drown her 6-year-old daughter after the crash.

A second trooper interviewed the six-year-old daughter. According to the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by CBS 19, the daughter told the trooper that Brandon had been scaring her since the day before the crash. She allegedly described Brandon losing her temper after being scratched by two young kittens and killing them in front of her daughter.

The daughter said her mother's behavior was strange during the drive leading up to the crash as well.

"[The daughter] told [the ranger] her mother had been reading Bible verses and saying the devil is in control," the affidavit said. "Just before the traffic crash [the daughter] stated her mother told her she 'rebukes' her several times."

Following the crash the daughter said Brandon carried her "piggy back" style to the creek, jumped over a guard rail and into the water and then forcibly held her down below the water level. The daughter told investigators she was initially scared only because she believed there were alligators in the water. She allegedly said it was later that she realized she needed to worry more about her mom.

"She thought she was going to drown," the affidavit said. "[The daughter] stated she was able to come up for air just in the nick of time and then her mother pushed her head under the water again. [The daughter] told [the ranger] she decided to play dead, so her mother would stop trying to drown her."

The daughter told investigators that her plan worked and her mother left her alone. The investigating ranger said the daughter vomited during the interview, and what came out "appeared to be creek water that contained bark and leaves."

"Child Protective Services is investigating the attempted drowning of a six-year-old girl in Nacogdoches," Shari Pulliam with Texas Child Protective Services said. "We are working alongside law enforcement. There was an appropriate and protective parent, a father who lives in a different city who came into town immediately when he heard of the situation and we have placed the child with him."

Brandon was still in a Nacogdoches hospital Tuesday afternoon. The extent of her injuries is unknown.


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