Monday July 27th, 2009
#1: Sarah Key-Marer (mother of victim, Lauren Sarene Key)
The retrial kicked off today on the 9th floor of the Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles, in Judge Michael Pastor's courtroom, 107. Cameron Brown, during a regularly scheduled, court-ordered visitation, had picked up his four-year-old daughter, Lauren Sarene Key, from preschool and had taken her to a beach playground. Sometime after the playground, they climbed up to Inspiration Point, in Ranch Palos Verdes, CA. Lauren ended up at the bottom of the 120 foot cliff in the ocean below. The prosecution alleges that Brown, in a bitter dispute over support payments and custody issues with the child's mother, Sarah Key-Marer, threw his daughter off the cliff. During his opening statement, prosecutor Criag Hum told the jury the defense claims that Cameron Brown turned around for a moment and she was gone. Defense attorney Pat Harris told the jury that there are two sides to every story and there is good and bad coming from each side. Harris said, "...the prosecution is going to present him (Brown) as a monster; they have to. [...] Witnesses are going to come in from Colorado and Hawaii to talk about how [Cameron] was a very caring human bieng."
I have an entire notebook full of notes covering today's testimony and observations. It's doubtful that I will get started on them tonight since I was up quite late last night sewing and I'm exhausted. So expect some delay in my coverage of this case.
Several members of the mainstream press showed up: South bay area paper, the Daily Breeze sent reporter Denise Nix, who covered the first trial at the Torrance Courthouse in 2006. City News sent a reporter for the morning session and another, Terri Keith for the afternoon. A reporter from the Associated Press and a rep from the Los Angeles Times was also in attendance in the afternoon session, so there might be mainstream articles up on the web by this evening.
Several individuals who appeared to be friends of the victim's mother, Sarah, were in the gallery. Brown's wife Patty was also in the gallery.