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Murdercharges likely in tot's death


Murdercharges likely in tot's death

Nov 24, 2004

Mike Martinez

Oakland Tribune

RICHMOND -- Murder charges against a Richmond man believed responsible for the stabbing death of an 18-month-old boy are expected to be filed today in Contra Costa County Superior Court, Richmond police say.

Investigators said the boy's adoptive father, Charles Thomas McEntire, 57, caused the stab wounds that led to the death of Charles McEntire III on Monday morning.

Richmond police Sgt. Mark Gagan said the child died from a loss of blood from multiple stab wounds to the chest. Investigators believe the suspect used a kitchen knife.

"After going over the crime scene and looking at the physical evidence, we know we have the man responsible for the child's murder," Gagan said.

McEntire and his wife, Edrina Gibson, adopted the child, who was originally born Brandon Berry in Alameda County, Gagan said.

Carol Collins, assistant director for the Alameda County Social Services Agency, said the child was adopted from a private agency named Hand-in-Hand.

Collins said the child was relinquished by the biological family.

"(Hand-in-Hand) did all the adoption work from the beginning to the end of the process," Collins said. "We do have adoptive staff who do agency adoptions, but in this case, it was through a state- licensed adoption agency."

A representative from the Santa Cruz-based foundation acknowledged it handled the adoption but declined to comment further.

Following several court proceedings, the McEntires took the steps to adopt the child and legally changed his name, Gagan said.

Richmond police expect to present the case to the Contra Costa District Attorney at 9 a.m. today, but McEntire may not appear in court until Friday because of Thanksgiving.

Gagan said authorities are seeking homicide charges against McEntire, who is being held on a $1 million bond.

Around 10:15 a.m. Monday, police responded a domestic dispute in the 500 block of South 30th Street, where they found the child suffering from a stab wound, apparently inflicted with a kitchen knife.

McEntire, Gibson and her adult son, who wasn't identified, were taken for questioning, and McEntire was taken into custody. Gibson and her son are being treated as witnesses, Gagan said.

Staff writer Michele Marcucci contributed to this report.

2004 Nov 24