FRANKLIN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Franklin County man’s capital murder trial for a toddler’s death has ended with a guilty verdict on lesser charges.
A jury found Shannon Gargis guilty of aggravated child abuse and manslaughter in the death of 22-month-old Serenity Renfroe.
He could face up to 40 years in prison.
District Attorney Joey Rushing said this was one of the most serious cases in Franklin County history.
Rushing said this was one of the most serious cases in Franklin County history. He said the was Serenity died is shocking.
Rushing said all evidence pointed to Gargis as the suspect. He said hearing a no guilty verdict for capital murder left him speechless.
He said autopsy results showed Serenity had over 100 bruises on her body, which showed signs of abuse. He said Serenity died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Rushing said Gargis testified he was babysitting Serenity when she was found dead next to his feet.
“Of course the jury came back with manslaughter and child abuse and obviously that’s the result. They went through the evidence very thoroughly they have been out since Monday at around 2 o’clock they have been deliberating the case over three days now and of course we were hoping for a guilty verdict on a more serious charge, but we understand the jury had 12 people in there and they had to agree unanimously and it’s hard to reconcile all the evidence with what you know and what you don’t don’t know," Rushing said.
Gargis’ girlfriend, Haley Renfroe, gave emotional testimony about the night she found her daughter dead. Renfroe said she found her daughter unresponsive next to Gargis. She testified Gargis wouldn’t let her call 911 because he said he would go to jail.