Richland Hills, Texas: Just before 8:00 am on Sunday, January 1, 2023, officers responded to a residence for a call that a juvenile had been stabbed.
At the home, officers found the body of 8-year-old Brenym McDonald. The Terrant County Medical Examiner determined his cause of death to be sharp force injuries to the neck and chest.
Approximately a block from the home officers located his grandfather, 62-year-old Phillip Dale Hughes standing outside of a middle school. He was taken into custody without incident.
Hughes was transported initially to the Joint Detention Center at North Richland Hills Police Department before being transferred to the Tarrant County Jail where he is being held for capitol murder. His bond was set at $2 million.
A neighbor that did not wish to be identified spoke with WFAA saying, "I never would have imagined this happening."
He told the outlet that he would often see the two in the driveway "drawing pictures with chalk" and that they were "just in love with each other. They truly were, the child was Phil's pride and joy."
Hughes "was an Army veteran" he went on to say before adding that "he had issues going back a long way," but did not explain what he meant by that statement.
Child Protective Services is looking into Brenym's death but reported that they did not have a history with the family.
The investigation remains ongoing and the Richland Hills Police Department is asking that anyone with information contact them at (817) 616-3788 or by email at CID@richlandhills.com. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may do so by calling (817) 469-TIPS(8477) or by going to 469tips.com.
A GoFundMe has been established to assist family with funeral and memorial expenses.