More charges for Paulding mother accused of killing 3 children

062722 Rockmart, Ga..: Crime scene tape is shown at the home on Woodwind Drive where three children died, Friday in Paulding County, Monday, June 27, 2022, in Rockmart, Ga.. The mother of the children, Darlene Brister, 40, is charged with two counts of malice murder following the deaths. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
062722 Rockmart, Ga..: Crime scene tape is shown at the home on Woodwind Drive where three children died, Friday in Paulding County, Monday, June 27, 2022, in Rockmart, Ga.. The mother of the children, Darlene Brister, 40, is charged with two counts of malice murder following the deaths. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Darlene Brister is accused of stabbing three children, setting home on fire

The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office has filed additional charges — including a third murder count and arson — against the woman accused of stabbing three of her children to death and setting the family’s home on fire.

Darlene Brister, 40, was arrested late Friday after a 911 caller reported a Woodwind Drive home on fire in the Yorkville community, near the Polk County line. Inside the burning home, two of Brister’s seven children were already dead. A third died at the hospital, according to investigators.

Brister was initially charged with two counts of malice murder. On Tuesday, more charges were filed, including a third murder charge and arson, booking records showed. Brister remained Wednesday in the Paulding jail, where she is being held without bond.

Explore‘I never saw that side of her.’ Family grieves as mom arrested in children’s deaths

Investigators have not released details about a possible motive for the violence. Brister’s husband, who had been out of town, arrived back at the home as investigators worked through the crime scene, according to his mother.

The youngest two children, 8-month-old Devonte and 3-year-old Donovan, died inside the home, the sheriff’s office said. The boys both had stab wounds. A third boy, 5-year-old Devin, died at the hospital from his injuries. An 8-year-old boy underwent surgery on Tuesday, his grandmother said.

“Dante will make it,” Ricky Brister, the boy’s father, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

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Darlene Nicole Brister, 40, was charged with two counts of malice murder and is being held without bond in a Paulding County jail. Her charges stem from a house fire Friday night in which three children died and another was hospitalized with burn wounds, Paulding fire officials confirmed.

Credit: Paulding County Jail

Darlene Nicole Brister, 40, was charged with two counts of malice murder and is being held without bond in a Paulding County jail. Her charges stem from a house fire Friday night in which three children died and another was hospitalized with burn wounds, Paulding fire officials confirmed.

Credit: Paulding County Jail

Combined ShapeCaption
Darlene Nicole Brister, 40, was charged with two counts of malice murder and is being held without bond in a Paulding County jail. Her charges stem from a house fire Friday night in which three children died and another was hospitalized with burn wounds, Paulding fire officials confirmed.

Credit: Paulding County Jail

Credit: Paulding County Jail

The children’s deaths shocked the family, Vicky Brister said.

“I never saw that side of her,” Brister said of her daughter-in-law. “Never. I couldn’t tell you what would have led her to do something like that.”

The family is hopeful a GoFundMe page will help with the costs of funerals and a new home, as well as replacing belongings destroyed in the fire.