Tennessee Mother Charged with Murder in the Deaths of 4 of Her 5 Children

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A Tennessee mother has been charged with first-degree murder, child abuse, and neglect after stabbing her four young children last Friday.

She slit their throats, and deputies found a large knife with what appeared to be blood on it in an apartment where the murders occurred.

29-year-old Shanynthia Gardner was charged with four counts of first-degree murder while committing aggravated child neglect in the deaths of the children, all under the age of 5, whose bodies were found after authorities entered her apartment.

She’s also been charged with 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.

The victims, all her own children, were a 6-month-old girl, a 2-year-old girl, a 3-year-old girl, and a 4-year-old boy. Their names haven’t been released.

According to Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham, a 7-year-old boy, also Ms. Gardner’s child, was able to escape the attack, but details of how he managed to survive aren’t being disclosed at this time.

According to the arrest affidavit, she spoke to her husband, Martin Gardner, by phone and told him she’d killed the kids.

The state Department of Children’s Service has offered to help investigators, but say they have no record of any interaction with the murdered children.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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