North Texas grandfather gets 35 years for killing grandson, officials say

Phillip Hughes, 63, pleaded guilty in Tarrant County in the murder of his grandson in Richland Hills, according to prosecutors.

RICHLAND HILLS, Texas — A North Texas man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing his 8-year-old grandson last year, officials announced this week.

Phillip Hughes, 63, pleaded guilty in Tarrant County in the murder of his grandson in Richland Hills, according to prosecutors.

Hughes was accused of stabbing Brenym McDonald to death on Jan. 1, 2023. Prosecutors said McDonald’s mother “approved of this plea and sentence,” according to a news release from the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.

It was not clear if investigators had determined a motive in the case. In the days after the stabbing last year, police were still trying to learn more about why the stabbing happened.

A family member had called 911 on the morning of Jan. 1, 2023, after finding Brenym unresponsive in his bedroom. Officers learned the 8-year-old had been stabbed to death. A sharp object was located near his body, police said. 

Then, later that same morning, Ring doorbell video captured the moment an officer arrested Brenym’s grandfather, Hughes, at a nearby middle school. Hughes got the attention of the officer as he drove by, according to Richland Hills Police Chief Kim Sylvester.

More information about the case was not released by prosecutors this week.

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