Dunnavant acquitted for murder

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Tyson James Tharpe

Cynthia Dunnavant, known also as Cynthia Gaulding, was found not guilty for murder: non capital felony Friday afternoon at the Nottoway County Circuit Court, according to court records from the Nottoway County Circuit Court.

Nottoway Commonwealth’s Attorney Theresa J. ‘Terry’ Royall said the charge of abuse child, serious injury was determined as a mistrial. Royall said this was due to the jurors being unable to come to an agreement. A jury’s vote must be unanimous, Royall said.

Tyson James Tharpe, 5, was found unresponsive by Dunnavant, his mother, on March 20, 2017. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday, the cause of death was determined to be blunt-force trauma and the manner of death was homicide,

On March 6, 2018, Dunnavant was indicted for three counts of child abuse and one count of homicide. Tyson and his mother were from Victoria but lived in Blackstone at the time of Tyson’s death.

A trial was scheduled for October 2018, but it was postponed. The trial for Dunnavant occurred between Feb. 25 and March 1, according to court documents. A status hearing for the charge of abuse child, serious injury, a class 4 felony, has been scheduled for May 7, Royall said.

Royall said during the status hearing, she would have the option of bringing Dunnavant’s abuse child serious injury case back to trial.