NRL News

Man who tried to convince girlfriend to abort faces third trial on charges he murdered daughter when she was four

by | Mar 26, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Cameron John Brown [file photo]

Cameron John Brown [file photo]

Prosecutors are trying for a third time to convince a jury that Cameron John Brown threw his 4-year-old daughter off a 120-foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes nearly 15 years ago. Brown’s attorney said Lauren Sarene Key’s death was an accident.

Brown was arrested three years after his daughter’s death. Brown has been jailed without bail since then, The Daily Breeze’s Terri Vermeulen Keith reported.

The trial began yesterday. A jury of six men and six women will hear the murder charge brought against Brown, who is now 53. The first two juries deadlocked in 2006 and 2009.

Keith reported that Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum used his opening statement to tell jurors said it will be “clear that Lauren did not slip and fall,’’ but was picked up and thrown off the cliff to her death. Keith writes

Brown had unsuccessfully tried to convince the girl’s mother to have an abortion and subsequently showed no interest in his daughter for “most of her life’’ until after her mother sought child support, the prosecutor said.

“In November of 1999, when Lauren is over 3 years old, the defendant finally gets around to meeting her,’’ Hum said, telling jurors that Brown was advised that he needed to request visitation if he wanted a reduction in the monthly child support payments of about $1,000 he had been ordered to pay. …

“Murdering Lauren was the ultimate payback to this woman he despised,’’ Hum said of Brown’s contentious child support dispute with the girl’s mother.

The prosecutor said Brown had “spent a total of about two weeks’’ with his daughter, saying, “there was no relationship, none at all.’’

The prosecution’s first witness was Sarah Key-Marer, Lauren’s mother. Keith reports that Key-Marer

testified that she recalled while they were dating that Brown had pointed to a cliff and told her that two children had died there a week or two earlier.

“It upset me. … I was very distraught,’’ she said. “It stuck in my mind.’’

To face life in prison without the possibility of parole, the jury would have to convict Brown of first-degree murder and “find true the special circumstance allegations of murder for financial gain and murder while lying in wait.”

Categories: Crime