Father, stepmother charged in 5-year-old boy's death


A Tennessee father and stepmother have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a 5-year-old boy. The Tennessean reports 39-year-old Phillip Jerome Gardner and 42-year-old Latonia Gardner were arrested and indicted Monday and booked into the Metro Nashville jail Tuesday in connection with the man's son's Dec. 7 death. A Goodlettsville police report says authorities responding to Latonia Gardner's report of her stepson not breathing found the boy unresponsive in a bathroom. The stepmother told police the boy woke up ill and she guided him to the bathroom to vomit, at which point he fell unconscious. The boy died at a hospital. The cause of death hasn't been released. The Gardners were initially arrested in December on aggravated assault charges.

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