Coast woman’s trial in death of son moved to Vicksburg

Published 6:41 pm Thursday, November 2, 2006

The capital murder trial of a Gulf Coast woman accused of killing her 5-year-old son will be held in Vicksburg.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson has set a Nov. 14 trial date in the case against Towander Broadhead.

Broadhead was charged with beating her son, Kenderick Broadhead, to death in 2004, allegedly because he was unable to count to 20.

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Defense attorney George Shaddock told the Sun Herald newspaper on Tuesday the extensive media coverage wouldn’t have allowed a fair trial in Jackson County.

Shaddock said doesn’t believe Broadhead, who pleaded innocent to capital murder, “intentionally tried to kill her child. She was trying to correct him.”

Judge Jackson will preside over the trial, and District Attorney Tony Lawrence, who handles Jackson County cases, will be the prosecutor.

Broadhead’s live-in boyfriend, Willie Earl Thomas, was charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder.

In his 2004 testimony, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ken McClenic said Thomas was working when Broadhead allegedly called to say she’d beaten her son and thought he was dead.

McClenic said Thomas left work and bought a blood-pressure cuff and stethoscope to see if the boy was still alive. McClenic said once Thomas knew he was dead, he wrapped the boy in carpet and plastic and dumped the body in rural Harrison County.

Thomas later led authorities to the body, which was 40 miles from his home in Escatawpa.