Archive for the ‘criminal law’ Category
After two mistrials, a jury Wednesday convicted a Los Angeles man of premeditated murder for throwing his 4-year-old daughter off a Pacific Ocean cliff to avoid paying child support.
Cameron Brown, 53, claimed the girl, Lauren Sarene Key, had tripped as she played at Inspiration Point in Rancho Palos Verdes in November 2000, plunging 120 feet to her death. But the prosecution showed that her injuries did not indicate an accidental fall.
Two previous juries, in 2006 and 2009, deadlocked on whether to convict the former airline baggage handler of manslaughter or murder.
Brown, who has been in jail since his 2003 arrest, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. The girl’s mother, Sarah Key-Marer, cried.
But when the judge asked about a date for sentencing, Brown blurted out, “Judge, I’m innocent, I have no comment.”
Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum told jurors Brown wanted Key-Marer to get an abortion and he tried to get the British national deported. He had been paying $1,000 in monthly child support.
“The primary reason for killing Lauren … was to get back at Sarah, for revenge,” he said in his closing statement, according to City News Service.
Defense attorney Aron Laub painted his client as simply a bad father and suggested Brown be convicted only of manslaughter.
“This father, who had this duty to hold her hand or hold her … didn’t do it,” Laub said. “Honestly, I have a hard time seeing a not guilty … I am looking for what is justice.”
Contributing: Associated Press