Monday, March 30, 2015

Cameron Brown 3rd Trial, Day 7 Prosecution Testimony Continues

Exclusive T&T Cameron Brown case coverage.

A view out towards Inspiration Point from the beginning 
of the trail head on Palos Verdes Drive South.
Photo credit: Betsy A. Ross, all rights reserved.

UPDATE 4/3: Made a correction to cross examination testimony, and clarity, spelling edits.
UPDATE 3/31: This post has not yet been edited for clarity or spelling. Sprocket.
Monday March 30, 2015
It was fortuitous that court was dark this past Friday, since I woke up with a head cold. I've been battling all weekend to keep this from going into my lungs and having to stay home from court. I'm working with Dr. Peter D'Adamo's Health Protocols for my blood type to try to clear my sinuses and build up my immune system.

More exasperating, I fell off my front porch Sunday afternoon. I was trying to get my stretch-coiled water hose untangled to water the plants on the porch. I thought I was stepping down off the porch onto the step but I missed the step completely. Down I went. It wasn't a big fall, the porch is only about a foot off the ground. However, I scraped an elbow and bruised some muscles.

Twelve days ago, Mr. Sprocket slipped on the step just off the porch and went flying into a flower pot in the front yard. It was very early in the day and there was some condensation on the steps. He hit his head on the flower pot and wrenched his right shoulder. He ended up with a frightening looking hemotoma beside his right eye. For a few days, it looked like he got into a fight but it was really only a ceramic flower pot. With two accidents off the porch in less than two weeks, I told Mr. Sprocket we're not getting any younger. We need a hand rail around the front porch steps.

I catch the Red Line train into downtown Los Angeles. If the lobby isn't crowded, I should be on the 9th floor by 9:15 am. Jurors were ordered back on Monday at 10:00 am.  I believe there is another pretrial hearing in Dept. 107, an arson case.

9:17 AM
I'm inside Dept. 107. Two of Sarah's friends are already here. The arson hearing is over but I did get to say hello to DDA Sean Carney who is prosecuting the case.  Sarah arrives a few moments later with her husband. She's wearing a black and white jacket, white blouse and a black skirt. Her husband is wearing a very faint pinstripe black suit.

9:20 AM
Mr. Laub arrives with his investigator. The clerks tells Mr. Laub that Judge Lomeli would like to speak to him.

The bailiff speaks to Mr. Laub before he goes back into chambers.

One of the DA's victim advocates arrives and greets Sarah and her family.

9:24 AM
DDA Hum and Detective Leslie stand in the well leaning against the jury box. I've seen many DDA's do this before court starts and between breaks.

The bailiff makes sure the family has lots of tissues with them before Sarah retakes the stand.

9:30 AM
The jury is here. I guess we are starting at 9:30 am. Sarah  retakes the stand. A sheriff goes to get the defendant. Mr. Laub comes out from the jail area, meeting with his client. Now there is an off the record sidebar at the bench.

9:34 AM
The bailiff has the door to the custody area open. Brown comes out. He's wearing a light blue shirt tie and dark jacket.

9:34 AM
The court orders the jury to be brought in. The judge explains the calendar and that court will be dark last week.  On the record with People v. Brown.

9:37 AM
Laub begins cross examination.
Ms. Marer, you filed a lawsuit i Brown in April 2001. That's correct.

Laub asks her to look through the complaint that she filed. That is the complaint. Defense exhibit A.

As part of the proceedings you were deposed, that was July 24, 2001? If that's what the date says yes.

A depositoin in a civil suit she went to a lawyers office. There was an attorney who was representing not Mr. Brown, but an Insurance Company? Sarah remembers Mr. Brown's attorney being there.

She was sworn in and testified.

When she received Brown's child support parents, she set that money aside in a separate bank account. At the time of Lauren death, there was money in that account.

Laub asks if there was $2500.00 in the acct. Sarah states, "If that's what I testified to, I don't remember."  Laub gives notice to a transcript page and line number from that deposition.

Laub reads Sarah's prior testimony where she stated the amount was around $2500.00.

Laub is now asking about what Brown's child support payments and how much they were. Presents her with a quarterly statement from the County of Orange. The amount ($680.00) Defense B.

The total payments he made in October, $860.00? Laub shows her another document. Sarah agrees the document is from the county. Defense C.

At the time of Lauren's death, there was a payment in November for $516.00 is that correct? That's possible yes. Laub shows Sarah another document.

Sarah identifies the document as the same quarterly statement. Defense D.

At the time of Lauren's death, there was approximately 3.5 months of child support. Sarah agrees.

From the date of her death, to her deposition, you had used money from that account to purchase flowers to on her grave? Yes? Just trinkets and things to put on her grave.

You and your husband Greg, paid out for her funeral, from that account. I believe so. He took care of most of that, so I don't really remember.

Attention to the deposition. Laub reads from the deposition and Sarah agrees.

Laub asks her what money she received from the church. She doesn't remember the exact amount. The members of the church went around, and put up a collection.  She also paid for the headstone out of this account.

Laub asks even after all that, there was still money left over? That's possible, yes.

During the month of 2001, there were still proceedings going on in family court. You were seeking to have Brown pay for some attorney fees, she filed a statement under penalty of perjury? Can I see the document you are referring to?   Document presented. Yes.

In this declaration, you stated the child's funeral expenses were totally born by me and my husband? If that's what I testified to at the time, yes.  Yes, that's what I wrote.

And this was under penalty of perjury? This was false that you paid for everything. So when you said the two of you, bore the funeral expenses, that was false.. I can't testify that's false. She stated her husband handled all the expenses, so she's not sure when the money came in from the church.

Laub presses her on the money in the account for Lauren, and if she thought that money was hers.

Laub asks her about a victim's program. It's a program that helps victims with the crime, and help deal with the whole process.

Isn't it correct that in December, the month following Lauren's death, you collected 1,032. in child support? It's possible. I don't remember.  Shows her a document.

Actually in December, the current support was $1,032. and the arrears was $28.00.  Sarah agrees.

So, when you received this money in December, after Lauren's death. did you notified the court that was taking the money out of Mr. Brown's pay, that he was paying to support a deceased child? I don't remember.

In January 2001, two months after Lauren's death, she again received money for child support. It's possible.

In my opinion, more testimony will come about why the child support payments continued after Lauren's death.

Laub continues with each month, presenting Sarah with a document for each month.

Judge asks Mr. Laub to show her all documents at once.

Laub asks that the entire time he did child support, he never missed a payment. That's correct?

Laub asks if she asked the court why she was receiving child support past the child's death. She doesn't remember.

More documents as defense exhibits.

Victim witness program, what is it? They provide victim's help, and money towards restitution.

Is it a program run by the state of California? I believe so.

It's a program that pays out money to victims of crime?  The crime that happened to Lauren for Lauren. I wasn't calling it a crime. I don't the program's in and outs. They did apply.

Did you present paperwork? I don't remember, but it's possible.

On April 4, 2001, didn't you write an email to Det. Danny Smith, to follow up on that victim program? It's possible. Presents her with a copy of the email. Verifies she sent the email to Danny Smith. Defense exhibit J.

You then did receive... let me go back a minute. This is for payment or a victim of crime? It's a victim program. She doesn't remember the word crime.

The amount you got out of the program is approximately $5,000.00 Three thousand went to repay you and $2,000.00 went to the headstone? It's possible. I don't remember.

Laub then reads from the deposition where Sarah testified about the cost of the funeral and burial plot. Testimony she gave at the deposition. At the time, she didn't mention any donations from the church? Sarah doesn't remember. 

Laub looks through his papers for something, then tells the court he will move on. Sarah does not review the document. Laub finally finds his document. Asks the witness to review it. There's no mention of the contributions of the church or the cemetery? Correct.

An email with Danny Smith, where she discussed medical information about Brown. Objection. Sustained.

What you were doing in writing the email, you were participating in the murder investigation in Cameron Brown? ... (Miss answer.) Laub asks if she had a previous conversation with Det. Smith to get these records.  Laub asks her to review the contents of the email again. This email is in relation to the counseling appointment we had.

And what about that? It's notifying Det. Smith that I had called to find out the information regarding the counseling appointment. The hospital said she couldn't have the information without the consent of Brown.  Laub states she was working for the murder investigation.

Laub accuses her of her trying to get information for the police in a murder investigation. Sarah states, if that was what he was asking me to do.

Laub wants to know what her relationship was like, with the detectives.  Laub asks if she felt if she was manipulated by the detectives? They could see that I was having a really hard time with Laurens death. They were not intimidating. They helped me and I wanted to help them find out as much about what happened to Lauren that day.

You knew form November 11, yo uknew at least from that date, that Cameron Brown had made a statement to police. I believe so.

And you knew that he said this was an accident. I believe so.

And you knew, that they believed this case was a murder? I knew they were investigating.

You called Mr. Brown repeatedly, trying to get any information out of Mr. Brown. That's correct.

Detective Smith, didn't use you, by keeping you ignorant of this case? They told me what they had found at the crime scene. They were working on it. They were vague. The phone calls I made to Cameron were before the recorded phone calls.

You called 2.5 days later? Yes.

You did this at the direction of the police? I did that anyway.

November 11, Det Smith and Det. Leslie, they came out to your house and asked if you wanted to put this recording device on your phone? I believe so yes.

And they said they wanted to get... She doesn't remember what they asked me. I just wanted to help.

Laub asks about statements in her April (7, 2001) email to Det. Smith, and her reply email in order to give Smith the address to the medical records information. She agrees that's what she wrote.

Now asking about another email to Det. Smith, where she had pleasant communication with Det. Smith and also providing him with more information for the investigation.  She agrees she wrote the email.

10:26 AM
You addressed this as "my friend." Objection!  Judge Lomeli asks counsel to approach.

Patty Brown has not come to court for the morning session.

10:29 AM
The sidebar continues. A minute later, over.  Laub asks about the email, now defense exhibit L.

There were other emails sent by you, other communications you had with the investigating officers, providing information they needed for the investigation, is that correct? Yes.

When you made these phone calls on your tapped phone, you knew that Mr. Brown had already been interviewed by police? Yes.

And you knew, that he said, this was an accident? He didn't tell me that it was an accident?

And you knew the police had accused him during that interview, of murder? I don't remember.

Laub gets another transcript. Laub starts to read prior testimony. DDA Hum objects on relevancy. Sidebar.    Sidebar over.

Were you told by the police they had interviewed Mr. Brown and in that interview they accused him of murder? It's possible, I don't remember.

You made frantic phone calls to Mr. Brown, even after a phone tap was placed on your phone? Yes. But you don't remember if the police told you that they accused Brown of murder? It's possible, I don't remember.

Well, when you were calling Mr. Brown, was it in your mind, that Mr. Brown might have murdered Lauren? It's possible.

Did you expect that if you got through to Mr. Brown, he would say that he murdered Lauren? I didn't think he would do that, but I wanted to what happened to Lauren. He was the only one there.

More questions, repeated. Court asks Laub to move on.

When she was calling Mr. Brown, she did not want to believe it was a murder. She wanted to hear from Mr. Brown.

Questions as to why she didn't ask for the recording device to be taken off of her phone.

The truth is, you were trying to assist the police in getting anything they could, against Mr. Brown? That's not entirely correct.

Laub accuses her that, since Brown had a lawyer, now that you were the only person who could get this information out of Mr. Brown. Sarah doesn't remember that happening.

Now Laub asks more questions about about the lawsuit. Claim that he negligently supervised Lauren causing her to fall to her death. There's nothing in here about the possibility that Brown threw Lauren off the cliff? That's because I wasn't aware at that time, what happened.

She went to Palos Verdes Counsel, to have guard rails put up, and also to have a plaque put up for Lauren? Yes.  Asks her to verify the document she presented to Palso Verdes Counsel. Verifies the document.

In your presentation to the counsel, you told them that, Lauren had fallen to her death off Inspiration Point? Correct.

You told them they would see that (guard rails) would help in preventing this from happening again? Correct.

You went to try to get warnings and guard rails, but you were told that the people in their wealthy homes didn't want their view obstructed. Correct.

You wanted to have guard rails, so that children wouldn't fall? Technically correct. (another question I miss)

You had mentioned that there had been two other deaths off of Inspiration Point? Yes.

And you hoped these safety measures would prevent future deaths? Yes.

And moved them to take action so that families would be spared? I did.

At the time you appeared in front of this counsel, you were motivated in the hope that, this governmental body, would see the need for railings since Lauren had fallen? Yes.

You also had another motivation? I'm not sure. Your question's vague.

You made the presentation on Feb 20th (yr?). She was already represented by counsel. And she was interested in suing the community of Rancho Palos Verdes? It's possible, yes.

Shows her a document that she sent to her lawyer. Feb 4, (miss year?). Correct.  You sent him a planned presentation? Yes, it's possible.  You asked his approval to send the letter out? It appears os, yes.

Question about her motivation. My motivation was not financial gain, but to establish responsibility for Lauren's death.

In my grief and wanting something positive about what had happened, so in my eyes, I wanted to have ... establish responsibility.

I wanted answers as to why Inspiration Point didn't have railings like Portuguese Point, a perfectly safe area.  I wanted to know why, Brown took Lauren to Inspiration Point.

She did not proceed with the lawsuit.

She did seek out other attorneys, before she found the right one? Object. Releavance 352. Sustained.

So the right one, was Mr. Wilton? I felt comfortable with Mr. Wilton. (spelling?)

At that point, you felt that Mr. Brown had not properly supervised Mr. Brown, because there was a homeowner's police that she could sue and go after that policy? I was in an emotional state, and I was reaching for anything, that would take some responsibility.

You and Mr. Wilton were thinking of suing Mr. Brown for the murder? I don't think that's correct. I'm not sure.

Now asking her questions about working with her attorney to suing through, suing the insurance company? Money wasn't a motivation but verifies that's correct. States that her attorney advised her it wasn't the city's fault and that it was more reasonable to sue Brown directly.

Now asking her about a letter she received from her attorney, Mr. Wilton. Laub reads from the letter. There's a timing issue, and that it should be resolved before the criminal action? Yes.

So you and your attorney went after the money? It was for the best way to get accountability.  Objection against this line of question.

You were discussing with your attorney, how to discuss the pleading. It was before there was a filing.

Judge asks her if her intent was to manipulate? Manipulate, no, not manipulate.

Laub asks again if her intent was the best way to get the money. Sarah insists her intent was not to get money but to establish liability.

She did get $300,000.00 from the insurance policy?  That's correct.

The court calls the morning break.

11:11 AM
During the break,  Laub's investigator flips through papers at the clerks desk. Mr. Laub works at the defense table, flipping through pages.  After making a phone call, the investigator joins Mr. Laub at the defense table.  DDA Hum and Leslie pace a bit in the well by the jury box, then DDA Hum leaves the courtroom. Now the investigator goes to get coffee.

11:15 AM
Sarah and her friends reenter the courtroom. Judge Lomeli comes out from the back room area. Sarah retakes the stand. The deputy brings Brown out from the holding area.

11:18 AM
The jury enters. Back on the record.

You testified on direct, that you visited with Cameron's mother, and this was a visit, to mother or grandmothers house? It was at his grandmother's house. The doll collection was extensive, not expensive.

The document she's presented with is a list of the gifts that were given to Lauren. She's not sure when or why she was asked to prepare it.  Sarah created it, yes.  Defense P.

The first item on the list is Nov 21 1999, Mr. Brown brought Lauren a small Victorian stroller with a porcelain doll inside? Yes. And he said it was taken from his grandmother's doll collection? yes.  And you said that he had a special relationship with his grandmother? Yes. And he was the one who took care of her? I believe so.

So that must have made you think that he was giving her something valuable? You mean, sentimental value, yes. What is the is alternative way of looking at it? Just buying something in the store and just handing it to her?  At the time I'm not too sure I even thought about it, but now thinking about it now, yes.

What was Lauren's response to this gift? I don't remember. If I didn't write something, I don't remember.  There's nothing about Lauren's response to the gift? Correct.

Next, he bought her a small doll, that you had seen at Von's.

The Judge interrupts. "We're going to go through each item counsel?" Approach. Sidebar.

11:25 AM
It sounds like there are exasperated voices over at sidebar.

Sidebar over.

In this list, you discuss seven different occasions where Mr. Brown gave gifts to Lauren? Yes. With the exception of one, there's nothing on this list that describes Lauren's reaction to the gift. Yes. What you do describe on this list is where gifts were purchased and their monetary values. Yes.

Early in 2000, he brought two scary looking Amish dolls that he brought from his mother's collection. Lauren and I didn't like the look of them, they were not appealing to the eye, so I threw them away.  Amish dolls, with no faces. Did you know the significance? She did not know the significance.

You had a good relationship with his mother? Yes. Did you call his mother and ask? No. Lauren didn't like them so we threw them away. Did you ask to find out why the grandmother had these dolls in the collection? No.

Laub insists the dolls had a religious significance. The people object. The judge agrees and tells Laub we are not getting into the significance of these dolls and speculation.

Laub asks, what made you think you could throw these dolls away? They were for Lauren, she didn't like them. She thought they were scary. She didn't play with them. I guess I could have returned them. That would have been the correct thing to do.

Now questions her about the walk along the beach, and when Brown talked about two children falling from a cliff, in Redondo Beach. Now you're saying today is that you've learned since that time that there are no cliffs near Redondo Beach.  Confronting her on her prior testimony in the prior trials.

Now asking her if she's making this up about Redondo Beach, is that Brown never said anything, that she made it up.

Testified in that first meeting of Mr. Brown, and that he said he was an airline pilot, and sometime later, you learned that he was a baggage handler? Isn't it true that you found out that he was a baggage handler the same day? My memory is, that it wasn't until the second meeting, when they were actually dating, that she found out. Laub goes to the transcript.

You testified in a prior proceeding in 2009 is that correct? yes I did.
Laub reads the testimony, going back to Nov 4, 1999, when she first met Mr. Brown.

Laub confronts her on the discrepancy in her memory.

At this point in time, is your memory less clear, than when you testified in 2009. Yes, over time there are things that are a little rusty, but there are things that I do remember? Today, I do believe he told me on a second date.

Laub gives her an instance that they picked each other up and that at first he told her that he was an airline pilot, and then later he tells you he's a baggage handler and you laugh about it. He was funny? I don't remember it that way.

Laub questions Sarah on what it was about Brown that was attractive?  Laub asks about him being an outdoors person, and other questions about Brown and what drew her to him.

Sarah states it would not have mattered if he was an airline pilot or a baggage handler. What bothered her is that it was misleading.

Laub switches to the email that she sent herself on May 5, 2000? Which one specifically?  The one where you make a note about your court appearances specifically? She states she didn't review this.  She identifies it as an email she sent to herself on May 5, 2000. Defense Q.

In this email, what you've done, you've made notes for yourself about different court appearances. It appears so, yes. And have a note here, went to mediation and he got angry about that she had put in the papers about the adoption and he was angry, and just like his mom.

Now crossing her on her testimony on the stand, verses what she had written in this email.  On the March 9th, court hearing, he said, what goes around comes around, but he didn't say, I'm going to get you? I do remember, that after the detective's interviewed me, that it did happen. I didn't make it up. Just because I didn't write it down, doesn't mean it didn't happen. Agrees that she didn't write it down.

Wrote down that Brown said she was full of anger, what goes around comes around, never to speak to him again. Agrees with that.

Trips with Brown she was able to fly for free because of his employment with AA? It cost her $35.00, she paid that.

You also testified that during your meetings, you used dutch treat? You each paid for yourselves? Pretty much, yes.  Talked about a time where you tried to talk about baby names and he walked off, and that was difficult for you because you didn't have any cash. I may not have hand any cash that day? If you were both paying for your way, why didn't you have any cash.

She states she wasn't expecting to get a taxi, because she was with him. Laub asks her about a credit card. She didn't have one.

You testified that you didn't notify Mr. Brown about Lauren's birth because you were afraid about being deported? Yes, that's part of the reason. I was a young mother and very busy and enthralled in being a new mother.

Now  questions about when she went to the DA's office, to sue for child support. She agrees that she consulted with some friends. Laub asks when she met Greg. It was in the early part of that year, Jan Feb 1997.

Laub states, that Greg said that he was paying child support, and he suggested to sue.

When did you and Greg start discussing marriage? We dated for about six months before we got married.

Greg was worried that he would end up supporting another child? It was Brown's right to support Lauren.

More questions about filing the child support. You told this jury that Lauren was a pretty outgoing child? Outspoken yes, and she liked the outdoors.

And that she was somewhere between a barbie doll girl and a tomboy? That would be right. She did like to be with you a lot at home? She liked to be at home, and do thinks around the house.

Now referring to the grand jury testimony.

Now Laub reads her grand jury testimony that she previously stated Lauren liked to do things around the house. Confronting her with the discrepancies in her grand jury testimony where she stated Lauren didn't like to go outside.

Questions about raising her as a 1950's female that was brought up on direct.

Laub states this is a good time to take a break, and the court states, no. Laub takes a bit of time to get his papers for the next question, so the court goes ahead and takes the break.

I will correct this entry for spelling and clarity errors this evening when I get home. 

Now asking her about question about the grand jury and that there was no defense attorney there.

11:59 AM
Court asks Mr. Laub how much longer does he have. (About another hour?) And we are in recess.

1:29 PM
Back inside Dept. 107. Counsel and defense set up their files.  There are three interns in the gallery for the DA's office. Patty Brown has not come to court for the afternoon session.

1:31 PM
Brown is brought out. Sarah retakes the stand.

Laub tells the court that Brown saw the doctor this morning. The court tells Brown that court is dark tomorrow, " that will help you out."

Brown stands each time the jury enters, but Laub does not stand for the jury. Sometimes, Mr. Laub is standing for the jury but his back is to the jury.

1:34 PM
Back on the record.

Going back over the email she sent to herself and the notes she wrote to herself about the court appearances.  The March 3rd court appearance was much shorter than what you wrote about? I don't remember.

While you're describing this 3/3 court appearance, and Mr Brown learning of the court pleading that you ahd filed, mentioning the adoption, there's nothing here about him saying "I'm going to get you." It's not documented, correct.

What you say in this note, you wrote there'ssomething about not caring about Lauren? I think I said he wasn't interested in her day to day living, who her friends were, church...

Laub presents her note she wrote about the 3/3 court hearing. Sarah reads the document she prepared and she states she's not too sure what she's referring to when she wrote this.

Now about the note for 3/9, in the court hearing she didn't memoralize the specific comment. The judge intervenes.

You don't know if she was a more adventerous little girl than what she was with you? She doesn't believe

Why did you sent a swimsuit with her when she went on visits? Just in case they went to the pool?

Brown brought Lauren to his mother's house on many of his visits? That's true, yes.

Questions about Brown's comments about his mother and the relationship with his mother.

He was actually living with his mother at some point. Sarah believes he was living with her, at the grandmother's house.

During the period of late 1999, while you were making sure Mr. Brown's visits were limited, you actually had more time for Lauren with Brown's mother? That's incorrect.

You do know that she wen with Mr. Brown, that she went in water. I didn't know that.

You testified at second proceeding in 2009. Question during November and December in 1999, Lynn brown, his mother, to spend more time with Mrs. Brown than Cameron Brown. Laub states her testimony,   We only visited Lynn Brown, a handful of times.

Laub now asks about the court visitation schedule and how she thought that time was more than should be allowed? Age appropiate for Lauren.

Instead of giving Mr. Brown as much visitation as the court proposed, Mr. Brown agreed to your plan? Correct.

At that point, he was being cooperative with you? Correct.

He was put in the position of paying more child support, for less visitation? He would bepaying the same amount of child support, but s a slower reunification plan for a three year old.

You actually met Mr. Brown in November of 1995? Yes.

In the family court, you wrote a declaration that you met him in August of 1995. Minor matter, did you say that because you might though it put you in a bad light in family court?  No, at the time she thought it was that time, but then found a photograph taken on the date she met him and she turned that over to the DA.

Now asking about problems with Brown, where she had her roommate write a declaration, that you met Mr. Brown in August 1995.

These declarations were all written when you were going through the child support proceedings? Yes.

Any explanation as to why the date was so off? I honestly don't.

When you came to the US, did you intend to stay to the US? When I initially came, no.

In your deposition you said you came here to make a life. Is that true? I don't remember.

Reads from the deposition.

So when you came to the US, and came here, you were pursuing a life here. This wasn't an overstay from a simple visit? I didn't have any plans or how to stay. I was very young.

Why did you say that? Like I said, I just came her open ended. I didn't have specific plans.  You know that's not answering my question. Objection. Sustained.  The words you said then, are not the same that you said under oath at the time of your deposition? I'm not sure.

Mr. Brown in the entire time that you were communicating, never said anything to you about not having anything to do with Lauren, correct? Other than your cliam that he was willing to have her adopted? I don't think I,I don't think there is any statement he made, or threat.

You testified that Mr. Brown threatened you with deportation, you heard from someone else that he tried to get your fired from your job, but while you were still pregnant, you invited him to a company party? Yes I did.

What company? Travel Max.  He came? He did.

So, did he do anything, abuse to you at the party? No he did not?

Did he act out in any way at this party? No.

Before one of the court appearances, in the family court, you filed expense declaration in which your hours had been cut in half, do you recall this?  Laub shows her the paper It appears from full time to half time. She signed on Sept. 1? Yes.

This declaration was prepared shortly in advance of child support by Mr. Brown? Its' possible, I don't remember. The court would then determine the child support that Mr. Brown would pay? Yes.

Questions about her employer, and who it was, as that was her brother-in-law.  She explained that she was payed by tempest travel, and Innovative travel is the company she worked for.

Innovative was owned by your husband's brother? For some reason the hours went from full time to part time.

What is General Relief Fund? It's companies that help people. It was her husband who was receiving general relief.

In 7/6/2000 you filed an expense and declaration you had 100% of the physical responsibility of Lauren. Is that correct? I'd have to see the document. Laub finds the document and shows it to her.

Can you identify this page as part of the income and expense declaration of 2000, approximate percentage that each person had the children. Yes, because I had legal custody, 100%.

Legal custody was something that was throughout the proceedings. And throughout the court proceedings it was about how much she had with you and how much time she had with Brown.

At the time, she was thinking that meant physical custody.

Laub confronts her, that at that time, Brown had overnight visits? That's correct.

Trip she took to England. Lauren was over the courtry for two weeks? I think it was around three weeks.

Did you got to the court to reschedule the visits for Brown? I'm not sure if I went to Jan Mueler or not. What you did is you wrote him a letter and said this is the way it is? Yes, I did.

Laub reads the letter in court, that Lauren would be in England and that she would miss the two visits with Brown. That's the way you chose to handle it when you went to England. Yes.

End Cross.

At some point, this was all about the money? It was never about themoney

You got child support? Yes.

You even filed a lawsuit? Yes.

You put on the declaration that the church donated money.

So wasn't this all about the money, It was never about themoney.

Why did you file the lawsuit?
  Im nygrief, and in my pain, I wanted to make something, somebody accountable for her death. There was no criminal investigation taking place. I had no answers. The only way I could get without guarantee, was to file a wrongful death suit. I was non judgemental it was either or. But I needed to have some accountability.

At the time you filed this lawsuit, that your lawyer filed htis lawsuit, did you know where theinvestigation was?  They told me very limited things.

She asked but they didn't tell her anything. They didn't tell me why,

The court ordered the defendant to pay child support. And that was a wage garnishment taken directly out of hisc chekc. The moeny was taken directly otu of his check ,right? yes.

Arrearages. That was money between the time that Lauren was born, and the time he started paying. So, esentially, back child support?  Correct.

Lauren was living with you, correct. You paind for expenses, dental school, food. Yes. Was it you understanding that it was to provide you with assistance in all this?

When Lauren died, was it your first thought that the defendant can stop paying childsupport? Was that the first thing foremost in your mind? No it was not.

About presentation Palos Verdes Counsel, did you know what information the detectives any information that detectives had uncovered about Laurnes death? No.

Did they tell you waht they discovered? What they told me was very limited.

When you presented your to city, did you know if it was an accident or a murder? No I did not?

The fall from the cliff that Brown talked about seeing two children, those were actually suicides? Yes. You testified to that prior, correct? yes.

Laub asked you what was in your declaration, and that you had met the defendant earlier than what you had actually met him.  Explains how she found out the date. She came across a photo, with a date on it.  She brought it to the DA's office immeidately. Were you trying to hid that information? No.

The def. lawyer asked yo uif the defendant, was your understanding of the defendant's relationship with his mother was high and low. Presents document to witness.

Declarationship signed by the defendant, does that describe the relationship with his relatives. It says that his relatives had "disowned him." "Yes."

In the declaration you filed you responded to that.  What was that in response to? His family values.

The defendant's lawyer asked you about Linda Peterson. Yes. Did you introduce her to the defendant? Yes.  After she said she was threatened to be deported, she and Linda drove to where the defendant lived and left a note on his car, please don't deport me.

She's seen the amount of material related to her in prior proceedings, Hum stacks up six binder files. Have you memorized all the information in these documents? As best I can.

Def attorney states there's nothing in your notes about "I'll get you for this." Does that mean, they're not in your notes, does that mean it doesn't happen? No. In fact, the lawyer talked about emails you sent to yourself. Another email she sent to herself, in June 2000.

This email sent June 23, 2000. In that email it state, the defenat said to you' I'll get you for this."Yes.
that was in June of 2000. That was before Lauren died.  You told the detectives about this. In the grand jury you testified he said at the first trial. at thesecond trial.

So this isn't the first time you said this. Correct. In fact, it was in your email before Lauren ever died? Correct.

You said that Lauren liked to be outdoors. Yes. Did that mean she likes to be out in the wilderness hiking on a trial? It meant playing on the lawn.

You testified in the defendant's original court filed (request for joint custody) before he had ever met lauren he was asking for joint legal custody? Yes. What is your understanding of that? Whomever was awareded would determine where she went to school, what religion she practiced, her medical decisions, whether or not she could leave the country, that sort of thing.

At the time he filed this, he opposed it. Yes. And was that because he had never even met her yet? Yes.

The def. lawyer, on Thursday morning, he asked you, something about your notes indicate dether was no problems until your declaration filed the adoption. Did you review your notes? Laub objects. Misstates the evidence?  Judge well, we won't know that without a read back. Judge instructs to ask his question and what Laub states his question was.

When the def lawyer made his statement, whatever it was, at the time you did review your notes. But we never came back on Thursday and we didn't come back on Friday. After reviewing your notes, was the lawyers statement, correct? No.

In fact, you documented problems in your notes, beginning with the second visit? Yes.

(What did those notes say?) Primarily the relationship with his mother. Also that he would say detrimental remarks in front of Lauren about his mother. It would be that she was a bad person and couldn't be believed. I'd have to tell him, not to bring this on Lauren, it was not appropriate, but it just kept increasing. And this was in your notes correct? Yes.

DDA Hum is going to set up a short audio for the jury.

Back in session. Finally , thedefendat's lawyer asked you some questions about Det. Leslie put a recording device on your phone, saying you were trying to get thedefendant to say something incriminating. She made quite a few early on. DDA Hum wants to present four of those calls to the jury. Transcripts are given to the jury.

These are after Lauren died.

Plays the tape. I believe I remember this from the second trial.

First call.
We can hear Patty's voice on the answering machine. Hi Patty and Cameron, this is Sarah, I just wanted to talk to you about what happen, I beg you to please call back. You know my number. It's very hard for me and I just really need to talk to you. Any time. Anytime today. Goodbye.

Second call.
The answering machine tape, Patty's voice. Sarah's voice. She's sobbing. Please call me. Please let me talk to you. I just want to hear somethhing about what happened. I can barely understand her. Please call me. You can hear the pai nin her voice. It makes me start to cry. She begs him to please pick up the phone.

Third call.
The answering machine again. "Cameron, you have to call me back. I want to know what happened. The least you can do is call me back."

Fourth call.
The answering machine again. Sarah sobbing. "Just tell me why. Just tell me why." The tape ends.

Ms, Key-Marer, that was you correct? Yes.

Re-cross examination.
These calls were made after detectives and Smith and Leslie came to your home and wanted to record these calls. We heard these were emotional calls. Did you call detectives what happened?

Of course I asked them. They would just tell me they were investigating. They said they would tell me they would let me know, when they knew it.

Laub asks if she was emotional and breaking up at that time questioning the detectives asking them if he killed her? (I may have.)

These are very emotion calls, where you are upset seeking information since you have none. Did you pursure this type of questioning with detectives this intensely? I'm sure I did.

They asked you to find out from Mr. Brown? I wanted to find out from Mr. Brown myself.

Question about speaking to Patty, after Lauren died. That Patty told her Brown had an attorney. I don't rmember. It's possible.

So you're making these phone calls, and in your mind you knew that Mr. Brown had counsel. Objection. Sustained.

The detectives came out to your house, because they knew they couldn't go to Mr. Brown.

I didn't care about being recorded. I would be making those because I wanted to know for myself.

Judge clarifies, that whatever the police told you was irrelevant, she wanted to make those calls herself? Yes.

The falls off of Inspiration Point, the prior falls off of Inspiration Point, were suicides.Objection, sustained.

You didn't tell the city counsel the two people you were referring to, were suicides? I don't remember.
In that presentation they were not referred to as suicides?  Whether the deaths were suicides or not, I would still make the petition to the counsel.

You said and Ms. Peterson had placed a note on Mr. Brown's car. There's no evidence that Mr. Brown actually saw the note? I just placed the note.

Question about the visits, and that they "went okay." Laub still confronts her that all the visits went okay, until she made her declaration to the family court about the adoption.

Asks if she reviewed her journal or testimony with prosecutor. Some, yes.

Laub confronts her about her memory.

In general, the first few visits, were okay. After that, there were minor things and I didn't like the way he spoke about his mother, and then things deteriorated between us.

No more cross. No more direct.

Judge asks to see counsel at side bar.

Sarah sits back in the gallery beside her husband puts his arm around her. He rubs her back and shoulder for comfort.

Court ends for the day. Jury is ordered back at 9:30 am on Wednesday. Reminds the jury that court is dark on Tuesday.

I will have edit corrections later tonight.

2:57 PM
Jury files out.

DDA Requests that Ms. Key-Marer remain in the courtroom. The defense tried to have Ms. Key-Marer removed in first and second trial and now third.  DDA Hum continues with his argument. There's no reason why she should be excluded for two and a half days, on the event that we may recall her for some issue.

Laub. The DA will now present witnesses on factual issues on Lauren, who were there at the school, the mediator at family court, There's going to be family from Mr. Brown, friends of Mr. Brown. Because she's had interaction with these witnesses on various times.

Laub, it's his first time through, and she may be needed to impeach witnesses.

DDA Hum, there are transcripts from two prior trials ...

If they are the same witnesses that are going to be called, then the risk is lessened. If she's ever called back to the stand, you could argue to the jury that she could have modified her testimony.

Laub, on our witness list, there are two lay witnesses, that did not testify in the past. If there's any pst interaction.

Sarah gets to remain in the courtroom. However, if there was some interaction with two defense witnesses, then this issue may be revisited and/or she could be asked to step out of the courtroom when they testify.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cameron Brown Trial Update - Court Cancelled For Today

Friday March 27, 2015
I just received notice that court will unexpectedly be dark today. The Cameron Brown trial will resume on Monday at 9:30 am.

Lauren Sarene Key, 4, exact date unknown.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cameron Brown 3rd Trial, Day 6, Prosecution Case Continues

T&T exclusive Cameron Brown case coverage.

UPDATE 4:12 PM editing complete
UPDATE 1:16 PM editing over the lunch hour, but not finished.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Here are some maps to give you an idea where Inspiration Point is, and what it looks like. First, Inspiration Point and Portuguese Point are in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Google® map of the Southern California south bay area. 

Close up Google® map view of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Above is a Google® satellite view of Inspiration Point (IP) and part of Portuguese Point. I'm no expert, but it could be that the tide is out in this image.

It's my understanding from attending the second trial, that Lauren fell into the cove of water below the eastern edge of Inspiration Point. 

As you can see, IP stretches farther south into the ocean than Portuguese Point. I know from going to IP in 2009, I could not see the eastern edge of IP, from the most eastern edge of Porguguese Point.

In opening statements, the prosecution stated Brown first went down to the beach to get a phone to call 911, before collecting Lauren from the ocean. I do not know the level of the tide at the time Lauren fell. I do not know how far back Brown went along IP, or what specific trail he took to get down to the beach at Sacred Cove. We will probably learn that as testimony continues.

As you can see from the overhead photo, Brown would have been unable to reach Lauren from the beach at Sacred Cove. He had to go back over the top of Inspiration Point and down the eastern side, to get to where Lauren fell.

Court resumes at 9:30 AM this morning.

9:27 AM
I'm inside Dept. 107. The DA's intern is back. Yesterday, Sarah wore a sleek black dress. Today, she's wearing a black and white knit top with a black skirt.  Yesterday, the LA Times reported Craig Hum's title as Assistant Head Deputy. I will try to find out when he was promoted and what unit he is the Assistant Head Deputy.

9:34 AM
Court informs counsel that we are waiting on two jurors. One just called said they are walking in the building, and waiting on an alternate as well.

Sarah, her husband a family are in the courtroom.  The defendant's wife, Patty Brown did not attend opening statements yesterday and is not here this morning.

9:37 AM
DDA Hum paces a bit in the well. Mr. Laub and his investigator are at the defense table. Sheriff's Detective Jeff Leslie is standing by the podium, checking out his cell phone.

9:39 AM
DDA Hum stops by to speak to Sarah and her husband.

9:40 AM
More family members arrive and sit in the gallery. The film crew is not here today. That's understandable since they are not able to film Sarah's testimony. It's a good bet that she will be on the stand for the rest of the day.

I've mentioned this before, back when Judge Lomeli first took over Dept. 107. Judge Lomeli has a very large brass, "scales of justice" on the counter between the clerk's counter and his bench. It looks to be about two feet tall. and 15 inches wide.  There are several portraits hanging on the walls through out Dept. 107.

9:44 AM
I hear the bailiff in the hallway address the jurors. He comes back in and tells the court they're ready. The bailiff enters the custody area to get Brown. Sarah takes the stand.

9:46 AM
The clerks leaves to get the jurors.  The jury enters.

Judge Lomeli reminds the juror to be here on time.

Direct examination of Sarah Key-Marer continues.

When the visits between the defendant and Lauren started, did you start to keep notes? Yes. I kept a journal. She kept notes on the dates and how long the visits were. She also added notes on her thoughts as well.  Originally the notes were hand written, and then she put those notes on computer.

She went back and reviewed those notes, and also her prior testimony.

Now re asking about her trip to Seattle and return, and when she first told the defendant. Now asking about what else she recalled Brown said at the time. He told her that he was in a time of his life where he was unprepared to have a child. 

Court hearing, where her declaration was part of Brown asking to have his support reduced. A confrontation with the defendant in the hallway. The defendant said to never talk to her again. yes.
And what goes around comes around. Yes. He also told her that she was just like his mother.  At that time, she did not know what that meant. His tone and attitude was angry, vindictive, angry, scary.

The visits that she arranged between Lauren and the defendant's mother.

Brown leans in to whisper to Laub.

After reviewing her notes, he said that they were going to meet with his mother, but he had an argument with his mother so that didn't happen, to bring Lynn along to the visit.

Sarah: Brown did not want Lauren to have a relationship with his mother.

More questions about what Brown said about his mother. "He said that his mother was a liar and not to be trusted." He said it to Sarah in front of Lauren. That was said at the same time that he said his mother was a bad person.

Also noting the dates of the visits, and also noted how long they were. At a prior point in time, went through and added up all the hours that Brown spent with Lauren. total number of days. "Sixteen point three days. Approximately."

Now about the visit to her attorney. She was asking for an ex parte hearing to stop the visits. She did not get that order. Based on what her lawyer said to her, did she continue the visits? Yes.

The next visit after she spoke to her lawyer, was November 8.  All that week prior, Lauren was upset.

On November 8, she took Lauren to school. That was a day visit where he would pick Lauren up at school and drop her off at home around 7:00 pm.

She didn't tell Lauren when she got up. Lauren had a hard morning getting up and getting her clothes and socks and shoes on. In the car, she told her. "We were singing her favorite song, Thumblina. We were okay." As we exited off the freeway [close to the school], I told her that, "Papa Cameron would be picking you up today."

Describe her reaction. She said, "No I don't want to go there." By the time that she got to the school, she was crying upset, saying, "No Mommy, no." When there was a visit, Sarah would tell her, "What ever you want for dinner it was your choice." Sarah did that, to take Lauren's mind off of what she was feeling. Lauren would usually say what she wanted, like spaghetti or something. This time, she didn't respond after that.

She didn't want to get out of the car seat when they got to school. "I kept telling her that I had to get to work. She was clinging to my neck and holding on to me." Lauren was saying,  "No, I don't want to go mommy." I walked her into the school. Sarah was carrying Lauren. The teachers at the school, they could see we were having a difficult time. And they'd seen her like this before. So, they said it's okay. We'll deal with it. You just go to work. "She didn't want to leave me." And so I took my time. 

"As I had to leave, I assured her again. I told her I love you and she said I love you, too," Sarah testifies.

When you were waking away. what did you see?
"She's looking at me."
Was that the last time you ever saw your daughter?
Sarah lets out a squeak when she answers, "Yes."

Earlier that day, she got Lauren ready for school.

Large Photograph. People 101. This is the photo of how Lauren was dressed when she went to school that day. That was the way Lauren was dressed when she took her to school that time. She had on light colored long pants and an tunic type top. Even though this is a large blow up photo of Lauren (easily two feet by three feet), I can't tell from where I'm sitting the colors of the pants and tunic. I have a memory from the second trial, that the colors were shades of violet.

She packed Lauren a lunch. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, granola bar, cheese stick, an orange, and some chips. There was an apple juice carton.

"After I dropped off Lauren, I just remember I had to be at work at 8:30 and I was running late." It was already 8:40 am. She was working at a travel agency that was 10 minutes away.  It really bothered Sarah, the way she left, and how upset Lauren was. She called the school to check in on her to see if she calmed down.

Based on what the teacher told her she called back at around noon. "I asked to speak to Lauren. They put Lauren on the phone. Lauren was extremely quiet. She didn't say anything." Sarah reminded her that she would get to pick her dinner, would see her later but Lauren gave no response. "I told her I loved her she said she loved me too. She was crying quietly."

At some point later, Sarah made a decision. "I just said that's enough. She cant take any more suffering. I'm going to leave my job and go pick her up. I didn't care about abiding by the court order. I just wanted to go rescue her."

Laub moves to strike on relevancy grounds. Over ruled.

She told the school she was going to come get her. The teacher told her that she saw her dad pull up in the driveway. Sarah knew it would take her ten minutes to get to the school. She knew that she couldn't make the drive in time, so she didn't go.

What time was he supposed to have Lauren at her house? 7:00 PM.

The defendant knew her home phone number and her cell phone number.  She was waiting at home for Lauren. Her husband and stepson Joshua were inside the house, watching the election news. Defendant did not bring Lauren back to the house.  He was usually prompt. She thought there might be traffic. It didn't seem like the usual pattern.

Sarah said to her husband, to call the CHP, there may be accidents. The CHP said there hadn't been any reported.

By 7:30 what was your state of mind?
She didn't have a good feeling.

She decided to drive up to where Brown was living. "All that I was I thinking, was, he kidnapped her, why wasn't he calling but it had to be something." Her husband's parents came over and watch Joshua and they got in the car and left. They headed on the 405 to where Brown was staying at the time.

Did you try to get in contact with the defendant. She called his house several times. There was no answer.  Also called Cameron's mother. She did not provide any information.

They got in the car and started to drive up to Palos Verdes. She was frantic. Many things were going through her mind. "I was worried. Desperate for information." Greg and her were talking about what could happen.

Thinking about all that had happened prior with Brown and the broken down communication, Greg suggested they get a police escort to Brown's home. Greg was on the phone, explaining the situation and he was transferred, and on hold for a long time. They were halfway on the 405. Sarah is wondering, what's going on? What's happened? I was suspicious that they knew something. At some point while Greg on the phone, Sarah noticed Greg's demeanor changed, in his face. Sarah could hear some of the words over the cell phone.

What was Greg told to do?  They were to exit where they were and find the nearest police station. He did that. Her state of mind was worse. She had such a bad feeling. We knew something was wrong.

She kind of knew something had happened. She thought that there was a car accident. She was hoping that Lauren was still alive. She thinks it was Lomita or Carson police station. She thinks it was a sub-station.

We checked in with the officer. They were told, well, you have to wait for the other officer who is supposed to meet you here. So they waited outside. Seemed probably 15 minutes. It seemed like forever.

While you were waiting outside, or prior to that, had you received any phone calls from the defendant, from Patty, anyone on the defendant's behalf? No.

Sarah and her husband called Cameron's house and got no answer. They also called Brown's mother and spoke to his mother again. Brown's mother didn't have any information. Waiting at the police station for the other officer to arrive, it seemed like the longest 15 minutes of her life.

They were told to go inside to an interview room. A lady walked in, a sheriff. She said hello and she had a pouch, bag and she put it on the desk in front of me, and in big bold letters and it said "Homicide" on the pouch. I knew what it meant, but my brain wasn't working. Sarah didn't relate that, to what might have happened to her daughter, because she was thinking car accident. What did "homicide" have to do with a car accident. Sarah was in denial. "Then what she said, I don't remember exactly. I remember heR saying that Lauren was not alive, and the word cliff. That's pretty much what I remember hearing.

Ater she said that, I was trying to process what she said. I was in shock I was not wanting to believe. It was a mistake. I wanted to see Lauren. No she could not see Lauren. We're sending a pastor to pray with you. It was done. It was like,  that was it. I refused to believe it.

How were you reacting physically? It was the most intense shock of my life. Deep pain, trying to wrestle with it if it was true. T hat it was a shock. Distraught; pain, crying, desperation. Someone [is?] telling me a story. What I'm hearing, I don't want to hear this story. Give me back Lauren.

I believe you said that they said something about a pastor coming to pray with you?
I think they did. But I dot remember.

Did you call anyone in your family?
I called my mother in England what had just been told to me.

Where did you and Greg go?
We couldn't go home. We were just in a daze. He said find the nearest hotel and stay where we can and process this, find out more information We were in disbelief. We found a Hilton in Long Beach. We drove around for some time. I was hysterical. I [wanted?] to be sick. It the worst feeling in my life.

Sarah remembers the police coming to talk to her the next day at the hotel. I was pretty much in a trance the next day. I told them bits and pieces as to what happened with Lauren, [Cameron?] and the custody. I just stayed in bed all day. The  told me they were flying a helicopter to the crimes scene. Crime scene? And I was slowly trying not to accept the actuality this wasn't an accident. Because they didn't know. That's all the information they knew. They had taken Cameron for questioning.

The night she got this information from detectives about Lauren, from the time Brown was supposed to return Lauren from the time she learned about Lauren, Brown did not call her and no one called her on Brown's behalf.  Sarah was thinking, wondering, why didn't he tell her. Why wouldn't he tell her what happened.

From then until today, he never told her what happened. She didn't want to hear from Brown's wife. Patty called Sarah and said she was sorry. She said Brown was sorry. "I called him over and over trying to get him to speak to me."

He left a message, she was out, it was about a week after her death. Her mother took the message, and she came home and I was so happy that he called. Called back, no answer. "There was some time after that, a week, I don't remember, he called me or I called him and he answered, and I asked him, please talk to me tell me what happened. I was trying my best not to set him off, and to be neutral. I wanted to be polite, so that he would tell me, something. He was pushing the mute button on the phone." Objection. Sustained.

What did you hear? "His voice was there, then it was gone."
Tell us what you heard, the sounds that was coming out of the phone. He was acting as though he couldn't hear me. I was asking hi to tell me anything about that day.

He was responding Hello? Hello, Hello? I would say, tell me what happened. And then there was chuckling in the background. I said to him, why don't you tell me something? Were you just trying to mess with me? She doesn't remember if she said that exactly or thought that.

Either that conversation, or when he left a message with your mother. Did he ever give you any information about how Lauren died?

Some of those calls, she left messages on the defendant's phone. She left many. The voice box was full.

Were there times when you would call, the defendants house and and his voice came over the phone saying hello? "I don't remember."

Can you tell us how many times you left messages on his phone, begging him to call him back?
Around a hundred, I don't know. I was obsessed in getting information. Maybe less, I don't know.

At some point the detectives opened Lauren's lunch box. She saw what was inside. The only thing that was missing, was the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which was not her favorite.  She usually ate everything else first. It was odd that everything was there, apart from the sandwich.

Did Detective Leslie and Detective Smith, ask you to meet with the defendant at his job. Yes.
It occurred in the evening. They asked me to approach Cameron as he was coming off his day at work. He entered the parking lot and I wanted to know what happened. I was extremely happy to do so, because it was my first chance to ask him what happened.

Did they advise you that the conversation would be recorded. Yes. She was wearing a microphone. They told her it would also be video recorded. The detectives would be near by if she needed them.

She went to LAX and met with defendant as he left his job. It was in a parking lot. He was walking toward his motorcycle. She approached him, and asked if he would talk to her. He was putting on his helmet and getting this backpack and things together.

Sarah is asked what she said to the defendant.
Please tell me something. Anything. I'm neutral, just tell me something. Just tell me. I want to believe something horrible didn't happen. He said that he had an attorney and that he couldn't talk to me. I kept repeating the same thing. This went on for a while. He was having trouble [getting his things together?], I was desperate, I was afraid that he was going to leave. There was a crow gathering. I was raising my voice. People were starting to gather around.

He kept saying, I' can't talk to you. He started his motorcycle, and I had to move out of the way for in fear of being run over. When he left, he was motioning like this with his with arm, over at a police officer, like motioning, pointing at me, at my head, as if, come get this person away from me.

Ms. KeyMarer, did you ever during that conversation, threaten the defendant? Did you ever tell the defendant, maybe I should kill you? Anything about killing him at all? No. No. No.

Did you hear that the defendant make a police report stating you threatened to kill him? Did you do that? She did not.

A few questions about Lauren, herself. How tall was she when she died? Three foot six. About 44 pounds. Four years and two months old. Describe her personality.

She was a happy child. Always smiling joking,g pretty chatty, friendly, affectionate. She would talk to everybody, strangers. She would just introduce herself. My name is Lauren, I got to church. I love Jesus. He loves me. She was very sociable, outspoken. She loved to learn new things. She like to dance, sing and play dress up.

She liked Barbie dolls and to ride her bike. She was learning to roller skate. She loved to go to the park with her friends. She liked to be outside. She liked the beach. She couldn't swim. She had a fear of water. We would play on the sand. We didn't visit pools that often, because she couldn't swi m. She was mature for her age. She was cautious in situations that she wasn't familiar with. She had afear of dogs, if she saw one approaching she would jump into my arms and over react. I had a fear of dogs too, so I understood.

Do you think that she was physically demonstrative when she was happy or sad? Would she just say, I love you? She would often say I love you. She told people who she loves.

Would you describe her personality as adventurous or more cautious. I would say her more cautious.  She just loved life. Her favorite thing was her faries and (?). She was cautious and careful.

What about physically? Did she like to walk for long distances? One thing we always talked about, was that she didn't walk anywhere. (She liked to be carried.  If you went grocery shopping she sat in the cart. I would tease her, that she was getting too big to get carried. I think she liked the connection, of being held.

Some of the activities that she liked to do? When I would pick her up from the school, they had a play apparatus in the yard, she loved to go up and down the monkey bars. One time her hands got blisters.  She was fairly active, she wasn't over active. She liked ballet. Gymnastics. She was in gymnastics in her class. Singing dancing, she liked to draw. She liked to perform. She'd put on performances for us.

How was Lauren with heights. She didn't like flying. We didn't have many opportunities where we were in a height situation. Couple of times in McDonald's play places, where they have the tubes that go up to high heights.  One time she got stuck. She's calling down, "Mom, I can't get down. Come and get me I can't get down." I had to climb these tiny tubes to get her to come down.

Had you ever seen Lauren climb a tree, over fences? No.

DDA Hum asks about a pool situation. Had her in swim lessons. She would not let go of me, and just hang around my neck. She was too afraid.

At the time that Lauren died, was she able to swim? No.

Did you ever told the defendant that Lauren couldn't swim. "I told him, yes."

Overall, would you describe Lauren as a tomboy, a girly-girl, or somewhere in the middle? Somewhere in the middle.

Talking about Lauren and heights did something happen at the pier? She didn't walk anywhere. They were at a pier, walking around Sarah's [father-in-law?], he had Lauren on his shoulders. He wanted to show her the water. He leaned out over the railing, and she begged him to lean back. She was leaning back toward the center of the pier. That pier had a railing.

How did Lauren feel about dirt or bugs? She didn't like creepy crawly's. She didn't worry about getting dirty playing in the park, but she wasn't rolling around in the mud.

How did Lauren like camping? She liked that we were with other people but didn't like the tents or [sleeping in the tents]. She ended up sleeping in the back of the car, because she didn't want (bugs?) to get her or touch her.

Went on a camping trip with their church group. On this camping trip, there were other kids, but Lauren refused to go on the hike with the other kids. Lauren didn't want to go, Sarah wanted to go. So they stayed behind.

Did that hike go up on a cliff? No. It was at the bottom of small hills. Not too far away, because there were children.

Did you ever in Lauren's life, know that she went hiking? Did Lauren ever tell you, that she had gone hiking? She did not.

You said you went to England with Lauren. She took the stroller to England, with her on the plane. After Lauren died, did you go to the area of Abalone Cove, Portuguese Point, Inspiration Point area? Yes.

Do you remember how long it was, after Lauren died? It was within a few days. I wanted to see for myself, the area. She had no idea.

Did you go to the playground? I did.
Did you hike from the playground to Inspiration Point? Yes. She went out on Inspiration Point. She went there many times.

Sarah knew Lauren. Their relationship was very very close. Would you say that you knew Lauren better than anyone else in the world? Yes.

Knowing Lauren, what she liked and how she reacted, would Lauren ever have initiated, a 1.5 mile hike? No she wouldn't.

Would Lauren ever have initiated that hike, from the playground at her own request? No.

Did you tell the detectives the very next day, that Lauren taking a 1.5 mile hike was ridiculous? Yes she did. That was before she even knew anything about the location.

Sarah does not believe that Lauren would ever have initiated a hike at Inspiration Point. Sarah testifies that Lauren would never have run around on the edge of Inspiration Point.

You sometimes took video of Lauren engaged in activities. Yes, she took those videos.

Did you ever try to repress Lauren as a child? No I wanted her to find her self. No.

You were in the courtroom when counsel gave opening statements. Did you make Lauren into a barbie doll? No, she liked to play with Barbie dolls.

Did you try to make her into a version of a 1950's female? No.

Now DDA Hum is playing a series of very short videos of Lauren, clips of her playing. In the first clip, Lauren is wearing roller blades. It's like, she's almost walking in them in the video.

Next video, of Lauren playing in the said, dirt. Next clip, Lauren playing on the monkey bars. Next, Lauren on a skateboard. Lauren is trying to maneuver on the skateboard. She almost falls She has one foot on the skateboard, and one foot on the sidewalk. She's slowly moving along. In the video, there is another boy on a skateboard, possibly her step brother, Joshua. Now she sits on the skateboard and moves along. Now she's sitting on the skateboard, and holding her arms out.

Next video, Lauren is walking along at a play area, or on the beach around pier pilings. Now video clip at a pier, walking on the dock. She's dipping her toe in the water. Now Lauren is walking on the water's edge. The next clip of her climbing on a playground climbing rock. Another video of Lauren at a pier, then the water's edge. Another clip of Lauren walking on the water's edge.

Do you remember the dates, all those video clips were taken? Exactly. Specifically, in the sandbox and monkey bars. That one was her graduation day at the Montessori school, in 2000.  In some clips, the boy was her step brother. The female voice on the videos was Sarah and also her husband's voice.

Direct ends and the court states, "Cross examination?"

Laub asks for a break now. The court states they will take a break in 15 minutes. Laub presses for a break now.  The court appears a bit irritated, agrees, and asks counsel to take care of his needs before hand. Laub asks to approach. I believe that request was denied.

The jury files out for the break.

11:04 AM
I will try to do some editing of the morning session during the break.

11:18 AM
Sarah retakes the stand. Her friends reenter the courtroom with her. 

11:20 AM
Back on the record.

Cross examination begins.

When you were testifying a short while ago, you told us that Lauren, didn't like to roll around in the mud. Do you recall that? Yes. You also told us that Lauren didn't go hiking. Yes.

You and Lauren about two weeks before her death, you'd gone to England. Yes. While in England, Lauren did a lot of running around, is that... there was an incident?

Objection. Approach. Sidebar.

Laub gets an evidence code book from the defense table.  Sidebar is over.

You testified that you kept a journal of the visits? I recorded everything as it happened. She just kept a log, because so much was happening.

At some point you brought a wrongful lawsuit against Brown. (Yes?)

At the same deposition you took an oath? You also testified at a grand jury proceeding, same oath there? Yes.

And [you] testified in a prior proceeding at a prior courthouse and a prior proceeding in this courthouse? (miss answer)

Counsel, deposition transcript, page 28, line 5. You were asked the question, Other than that one document, do you have a journal that you were keeping, other than journal? You answered, that only prior to her death.

Prosecution objects that statement was taken out of context.

Now move on. Laub asks about the journal itself.

Cameron Brown at no time, did he ever hit you? He did not.

He never grabbed you in a forceful way? No.

Never did anything abusive? No.

Cameron never hit Lauren? Not that I'm aware of.

Well you were looking for bruises and signs that might be there? (miss answer)

And she had never said that Papa Cameron hit her? Correct.

A bump on her head is asked about. Lauren said he had fallen.

There's no evidence or issue about him grabbing her or hitting her?

DDA Hum objects. Based on her personal knowledge. Judge Lomeli clarifies the question.

No one's ever told you that Brown ever grabbed Lauren ofrthat there was any forceful action? Correct.

You spanked Lauren? I would tap her on her bottom for safety. Sarah explains that when Lauren did things where she wasn't safe, where safety was concerned.

Asking about the wooden floors at her house. I believe Laube asks if she would run across the wooden floors in her socks, and if that is dangerous? It could be.

Did Lauren ever run across the floors. (miss answer)

And your husband Greg, used to give her a spanking on the bottom? I don't believe he did.

At the time the social worker came to see you, Lauren had bruises? Lauren had bruises on her shins. She got them from playing.

She also had a rash around her mouth? She didn't know if it was a cold sore or not.

Laub makes a statement that it was a reaction to citrus.  Laub also brings up that there was a mark on Lauren's ear. Sarah responds, "He said there was."

When the social worker was there, there was no mark on the ear. (Laub states)

You testified here that while you were going through the proceedings for child support, your concerns you asked to have a 730 evaluation. Someone was going to talk to each member of the family, Brown's family and Lauren? I didn't request it. It was requested by the judge.

Didn't Cameron request it? Possibly.

Previous proceeding, line ... At first proceeding at other courthouse, you were asked about questions that the DA's been asking you then. At one point the DA asks you about the 730 proceeding. Then you responded that it was Cameron's. It could have been Cameron's idea or the judge. Sarah answers, "I just know it wasn't mine."

Isn't it correct that at the time of that proceeding, you thought Cameron asked for it, but it was actually Jan Muller asked for it? (miss answer)

You did have discussions with Jan Muller at that time Yes.

And at that time that you and Cameron were still talking with the mediator? I can't remember exactly if we were still communicating at that time.

You said that you had all kinds of concerns about Brown at that time. Objection vague.

I'm asking about the 730 evaluation. You had concerns about Mr. Brown at that time? That's right.

You were concerned that he might be molesting her? I wouldn't say it was on my mind, I couldn't say that it was. I just know that it was odd behavior.

Laub confronts Sarah that Lauren did have a prior time, before Papa Cameron, where she didn't want to put on her underwear or socks. Sarah does remember there was a prior time, that she didn't want to wear underwear and socks, unrelated to Mr. Brown.

Court clarifies, that she said [possible molestation] it might have been on her mind, it might not have been on her mind.

When was the first time, that Lauren said, "Not right, not right." [I believe this is in regards to not putting on her underwear and socks.] I believe Laub indicates that is not in Sarah's journal.

I know you were keeping a journal, because you kept a record of things for the custody proceedings. You were writing things down, for the judge. Sarah shakes her head, and says she was just writing things down, not specifically for the judge.

Sarah doesn't remember if she testified about the "Not right, not right." At this point, you thought that Lauren was going through a lot of emotional suffering. (Yes.)

Brown offered to have his insurance pay for the 730 evaluation. But his insurance wouldn't pay for it.

You were the parent that Lauren was living with at the time. Yes.

And you had concerns about molestation and her safety. I didn't have concerns about molest, but definitely her safety.

She did not offer to pay for the 730. It was very costly. Laub asks if at the time, she was married. She states she was married.

You had the first visit, was the one where you went to a park together. That's correct.
This was the one that was in December, 1999? I believe November 2000.
And that one was actually a great visit. It went well, yes.

Approximately a week later, you had a second visit? Yes.
And that was a good visit? It was a good visit, yes.

Actually, isn't that the visit where you brought your husband Greg?
I don't remember bringing Greg.

How about Joshua?
I brought Joshua to the third visit, where we rode bikes.

That was a good visit?
That was a good visit.

The fourth visit, that was also a good visit?
I think so.

The fifth visit? The fifth, sixth and seventh those were all good visits?
I'd have to look at my notes.

Judge asks that be done (looking over notes) at the lunch hour.

Eighth visit, another good visit?
I'd have to look at my notes. I know there was a change, and I don't want to be inaccurate.

These visits, they lead up to, looks like you've got 10, 12, I'd like you to look at 12 visits through February.

At the end of February, that's when you filed your declaration that Mr. Brown wanted Greg to adopt Lauren? Yes.

Isn't it true that it's all fine until you filed your declaration?
I'd have to look at my notes.

The reason you were actually, that you proposed adoption, you were saying that Mr. Brown was having a hard time with the child support, and maybe he would like it if Greg could adopt and you offered that he could still visit?

I could see that there were some issues that Lauren was having with the visits. Greg and I were looking for a way to stop this whole thing, relieve Cameron of the financial burden.

At the point at which you offered this adoption, you discussed this with Detective Leslie, the reason that you did this? I don't know I may have I don't remember.

You told Det. Leslie, you were scared with how much time Cameron wanted with Lauren?
In regards to the reunification program, I was concerned about the pace. I was concerned about her pace, not mine. I was concerned he was asking for a lot of custody. He was asking for a third of her life, and at that time, he didn't really know her.

A lot of pauses by Mr. Laub.

You talked to Detective Leslie, and didn't Det. Leslie, say to you, "It just doesn't make much sense, he just got it lowered."? Her memory is vague as to the conversation with Det. Leslie.

Now referring to the transcript of the first proceeding. This is the question and answer.... pause. And it continues to 98, line 11.

11:55 AM
This is the transcript of the first proceeding. When you got interviewed, you remember this conversation.

Laub reads from a prior proceeding transcript.

You offered the option to Cam because of all the time. It was time custody and other issues that you had. You told him that you offered the adoption option because of how much time Cam wanted, time and custody.

At the time that you offered this adoption option, it's not the money situation, it was the time and custody. "At the time, I thought it was too much time, too soon."

The point at which things got bad between you and Mr. Brown, is the point at which you claimed that Mr. Brown wanted to have Greg adopt Lauren.  She agrees that's around the time that the communication broke down.

Laub claims that she was angry with Brown. She doesn't remember being angry with Brown.

When you look at your notes, there's a couple that I would like you look at. There's some that are typed out. There's an email that you sent to yourself.  The witness asks him to be more specific so she would know what to look at.

Judge Lomeli calls for the noon break. We are supposed to end court early today, at 2:15 or 2:30, because Mr. Laub has a doctor's appointment. 

While jury exits, I see that Brown is trying to push a piece of paper written on a steno pad to Mr. Laub. There is a bit of writing on it.

1:30 PM
DDA Hum is telling the gallery that the defense is not coming back this afternoon. Apparently the defense attorney called in sick.

Judge Lomeli comes out and speaks to DDA Hum. So I don't know what the court will do now. They need to dismiss the jury and I think they need someone here to represent Brown.

Judge Lomeli tells his bailif to tell the jurors to come in but not to take the box. To line the jurors up in the back.

On the record. The DA is present. The defense counsel Mr. Laub is not. He had a doctor's appointment. But over the lunch hour he's sick, but expects to be here tomorrow. Leave your phone number with the bailiff, so if anything unforeseen occurs, we can reach you. Judge jokes, that, at this rate, we'll be finished with this trial in December. The jurors get a good laugh. They exit the courtroom. They are to return at 10:00 am.

1:37 PM
DDA Hum will give the clerk Mr. Laub's number so the clerk can contact him. Someone, one of the jurors was asking about doughnuts.  The court laughs at that.

And that's it. We are set to return at 10:00 am tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cameron Brown 3rd Trial - Opening Statements

Exclusive T&T Cameron Brown case coverage.

A view of the "horseshoe" or slanted area of the left side of
120 ft cliff Inspiration Point from the right side edge of the point.
Photo credit: Betsy A. Ross, all rights reserved.

UPDATE 8/26 I h.aven't fully edited this day's post yet
UPDATE 6:30 PM spelling, clarity and accuracy
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Opening statements are set to begin today in the third trial of Cameron Brown. Prosecutors allege on November 8, 2000, Brown threw his daughter, Lauren Sarene Key, 4, off of Inspiration Point because he haded the childs mother and to avoid paying child support.  The defense claims Brown's daughter accidentally fell and that he loved his daughter and was seeking to spend more time with her.

9:34 AM
I'm inside Dept. 107.  The documentary film crew (Ashley York and her cameraman) are setting up in the far right corner of the gallery. There is a still photographer also in the back corner, but I don't know what agency he's with.

There is a different court reporter at the court reporter's desk. DDA Hum has set up his 13 green binders across the front of the prosecution table. They have a rolling cart behind their chairs. LA County Sheriff's Detective Jeff Leslie stands in the well in front of the jury box.

Sara Key-Marer and her husband Greg are in the gallery.

A few moments after the film crew arrived Aron Laub and his investigator (Mr. Scott Ross, no relation) arrive and set up their files. DDA Hum's Powerpoint presentation is already loaded on the overview screens.

More family members arrive and sit with Sarah and her husband.

York is now working out logistics with the bailiff to set up her microphones.

Judge Lomeli comes out from chambers for a moment then goes back. DDA Hum paces a bit in the well. Judge Lomeli's regular court reporter comes out from the back rooms and starts to set up her equipment.

 9:43 AM
Brown has not been brought out yet.  Brown's wife is not here yet. Marisa Gerber from the LA Times is here. The cameraman is with the LA Times.

More friends and family of Sarah and Greg arrive. I believe KFI reporter Shannon Farren arrives and sits in the back row. I've never seen photos of her before. She's a gorgeous blond.

I'm mistaken about the regular court report. It looks like she will not be setting up. The two court reporters might be sharing duties.

More clerks and interns from the DA's office arrive as well as more friends of Sarah's.

Another camera operator arrives. He's from NBC4.

9:58 AM
Judge takes the bench. Asks if there are any issues with counsel. None other than what was discussed in chambers.  There are more camera operates here, but they appear to be packing up.

Now both court reporters are on either side of the reporter's desk. I've never seen that before.

I move up to the third row from the back row to side beside Marisa from the LA Times.

More friends arrive to support Sarah and Greg. Two more girlfriends of Sarah's arrive and sit in the gallery.

10:06 AM
Last minute side bar with Judge Lomeli.

I forgot to mention that the bailiff is not the regular bailiff in Dept. 107. It's a new man I'm not familiar with.

A camera operator for local ABC 7 arrives and threads his way to the back right corner.

The court clerk comes in and tells Judge Lomeli that all the jurors are here. The bailiff now gets the defendant from the in-custody area.

Brown's wife hasn't arrived yet. The jurors are brought in. There are six men, six women and four male alternates

DDA Hum begins.
This case is about the murder of a four year old girl Lauren Sarene Key, killed by her biological father Cameron John Brown.

He took her on a dangerous hike. The defendant claimed that it was an accident. The evidence will show it was not.

At the time of the murder, Brown was a 39 year old man with no interest in his daughter.

Timeline of events.
Defendant met Sarah in the fall of 1995. In Dec of 1995 Sarah discovered she was pregnant.

Defendant didn't want anything to do with a child. He was living on his boat, surfing every day, and working as a baggage handler. He pressured her to have an abortion. She refused. It made him angry.

He refused to talk about her pregnancy. When Sarah stood firm to have this child, the defendant left her on her own, four months pregnant.  He tried to get her deported back to England. He left threatening messages on her voice mail at work.

Laub objects. Judge tells the jury that opening statements are not evidence.

Sarah kept her baby, born August 29, 1996, Lauren was born. She struggled to raise Lauren on her own. She got no help from the defendant. No inquires, no attempts to meet her, nothing. He knew how to contact her. He had called her there [at her work] before. In fact, the defendant was continually changing his phone number and moving his boat around. The defendant was afraid of what might happen, [if Sarah knew where he was staying].

When Lauren was about 9 months old. she sought help for child support. Went to Orange County DA's. Still no contact from the defendant for another year, and then another. Almost 2 years after child born, the defendant contacts Sarah. The defendant demands a paternity test.  He filed documents that he wasn't the father. He was trying to get out of supporting the child.

DNA proved Lauren was his daughter. He doesn't ask to see her. He doesn't offer to help support her.
Does he show any interest in Lauren at all? No. Sarah has to go back to court, to order the defendant to support his daughter. The judge does that.

In December 1998, the court ordered the defendant to support Lauren. The very first thing the defendant does, is go to court to have his child support reduced. He's been told the fastest way to get it reduced, is to request visitation. It's about the money.

July 22, 1999, one month before Lauren's three year birthday, the defendant requests 50% joint custody of a child he's never met.

November 1999, first meets Lauren. Sarah begins a relationship between her, Lauren and defendants mother.  The defendant makes excuses why he can't visit Lauren. Defendant makes disparaging remarks about Lynn, his mother in front of Lauren.

The friction takes its toll on Lauren and Sarah worries about her daughter.  February 2000. Sarah proposes a solution. Her new husband would adopt Lauren. The defendant is ecstatic. He agrees to the adoption. She cautions hm. Why don't you think about it, and talk to his fiance Patty.

Next time the defendant sees Lauren, he wants to know how soon the adoption can be done, before he even speaks to Lauren.  At the same time, the defendant files a request for reduction of his child support payments in the court.

In the meantime, Sarah files papers with the court indicating the defendant showed little interest in Lauren. In retaliation, Brown threatens Sarah to never speak to her again. He breaks off all communication with Sarah and the adoption goes nowhere.

In March 2000, the request for reduction in support is denied by the court.  Around the same time, Lauren is going for overnight visits, and Brown starts making disparaging remarks about Sarah, to Lauren.

Your mommy is stealing my money. I'm going to have your mommy put in jail.

He files again that he already has 50% custody and that his support should be reduced.

He goes to the court and accuses Sarah that she was abusing Lauren.

Lauren meanwhile increasingly dreads her visits with Brown. She hides. She doesn't want to go. At home, she hides under the bed and asks her mother to tell Brown she's not home.

Sarah tries to get help. She tries to get advice. Sarah calls children family services, anyone she can, to get her help.

October 2000. It worsens. He's paying almost 40% of his salary in child support. And his new wife Patty, is fired from her job and Patty is pressuring Brown to adopt Lauren. That's the last thing that Brown wants.

The conflict between Sarah and the defendant comes to a head.

Wednesday Nov 8, 2000.  Its a day when the defendant can get Lauren alone. At about 12:30 in the afternoon, the defendant arrives at Lauren's school to pick her up. Lauren had been crying all day long. She was begging her teachers to let her talk to her mommy. She's still crying, wailing, when the defendant takes Lauren from her school for the very last time.

On most school visitation days, the defendant's wife would come along. On most days, he would go back to his wife's condo. But today, is not a normal day. Today, the defendant takes Lauren, for the first time, to take this child on a dangerous hike.

He drives her to Abalone Cove, a dangerous area, with steep trails and hiking paths. Photo on the overhead monitor. In the foreground is Portuguese Point. In the background, is Inspiration Point.

Sometime between 1:30 and 1:45 PM he parked in Abalone Cove. They then walked down a trial to a playground at the beach. Then he says, she lost interest, at playing at a playground. The defendant says, Lauren, who was known as cautious and a bit lazy, took off on a hike. This six-foot-two baggage handler, said he could barely keep up.

He said she led him on a dangerous hike, past the safe area of Portuguese Point, and then to the dangerous area of Inspiration Point. Then around 2:45 in the afternoon, Lauren, led this main she barely knew, off to Inspiration Point.

That November afternoon, no one was up there but the defendant and Lauren. The defendant had managed to find the one spot, that couldn't be seen from the beach, or the other areas of the cliff. Because the defendant wanted to make sure that he couldn't be seen.

Photo of Inspiration Point. That cliff, is the height of a 10 story apartment building. He claimed that Lauren was running around throwing rocks. The defendant said that he turned around for just a second, and then when he turned back, she was gone.

That's not what happened. The evidence will show that he threw Lauren off a cliff.

After Lauren plunged off that cliff, the defendant went down a trial to a nude sunbathing beach, to call 911. The 911 call came in about 2:50 pm. He stayed on that phone for 5 and a half minutes. Do you know how long 5 and a half minutes is? We're going to find out. Because I'm going to stop taking and start up again.

That's how long that Lauren was floating in that water and he knew. Hum stops talking. There's complete silence in the courtroom. A photo of the tide pool area below where Lauren fell from is up on the overhead screen.

Brown appears to be looking off towards the clerks desk. No he's glancing up at the overhead screen.

It seems like forever. It's still silent.

10:40 AM
There's a bit of fidgeting in the jury box.
Five and a half minutes. That's the amount of time that Lauren was in the water while the defendant was on the phone. Not once does he say to the 911 opeartors, "Where are you? What's taking so long?"

When he went down the trail to the naked sunbathing beach, he knew he couldn't get to Lauren from that area. He would have to hike back up over the point and down the other side.  By going to the beach first, the defendant knew it would be ten to fifteen minutes before he would get to Lauren. And the defendant knew Lauren couldn't swim, even if [by some miracle] she survived the fall.

After the phone call, he went back up to the point down to the other side. It's about 3:15 by the time he reaches Lauren's body. He goes out to the water, picks her up, slings her over his shoulder and places her on a picnic table.

When fire department arrives, he gives his first version, a little different than what he told detectives. Small differences but it shows the defendant's story is a lie.

Witnesses will testify about Lauren's personality, her physical abilities. The evidence will show that Lauren would never go off on a hike on her own.

Witnesses will testify how the defendant treated Sarah while he was pregnant. Hurting Lauren was the ultimate payback. "What goes around, comes around." Witnesses will also testify about how the child support was taking a toll especially after his wife was fired.  The defendant's own statements, [to the court were] I cannot afford to pay the amount currently.

Defendant states that Sarah was receiving more money from his pay check than he was.  Patty, Brown's wife, was seeking a family of her own and was trying to get custody of Lauren away from Sarah.

You will hear testimony from an expert in bio mechanics that will tell how Lauren's injuries could and could not have been received.  Also witnesses will testify about Lauren's relationship with her father. In the entire length of Lauren's life, the defendant spent about two weeks with Lauren.

To the defendant, the child wasn't his daughter, she was the child of the woman he despised. It was all about money and revenge. At the end of the trial it will be clear, that the defendant threw Lauren off Inspiration Point to the water below. That's what this case is about.

Mr. Laub.
Two tragedies are infolding in this courtroom. Lauren lost her life. The second tragedy that's going to unfold is the prosecution of Cameron Brown as a murderer causing that death. And that is something that will require further development for you to understand.

If you've ever seen those optical illusions. One moment you see a bird. And the other moment you will see a face.  Because what you just heard, there is a flip side.

Brown was an outdoors man. He loved surfing. He loved hiking. He lived in a cabin in the woods. He would ski to go to work and ski back home in this wilderness place.  He had friends that liked him and peole that he pushed, one way or the other. He was like a friend on the edge of the group, that kind of jokes and was kind of included, but not intimately. You'll hear that some people liked him. Some people didn't like him.

He moved to California and worked for an airline as a stable employee. You'll hear the word throw throughout the case. He was a baggage handler. Is a baggage handler someone who throws luggage? You see thrown luggage in a sitcom. Later on, you'll also hear, is one of the things that happened when he worked there, because he was one of the guys who said, "you're not doing the job right."

He drank socially, he didn't drink a lot. At a bar, he picks someone up. And that person is eventually the mother of Lauren. The person dates him for a couple of weeks, and they have sex. Cameron used a condom. Sarah claims the condom broke.  Cameron's first response was, almost childlike. "Oh that's neat." Because you'll hear that Cameron is not someone who expresses his emotion well.

Laub describes his client's emotional level as like that of a 15 year old. Then Cameron decides that many things aren't right. Maybe she should get an abortion. Because Sarah is here illegally. She shouldn't be here. Maybe this woman is telling him, she got pregnant by Brown, because she wants to stay here.

They go to counseling. The purpose of the counseling, so that options can be discussed, because he's not a guy who's very articulate.  Counselor tries to talk to Sarah about various ways to handle this, and one of those ways, is abortion, because you're going to raise a single child and you two don't know really know each other. 

Sarah decides, no, no, abortion. I'm going to have this baby. Don't expect you'll hear, that Sarah had religious reasons or that this was her first baby.

In this period of time, that what you're hearing that, this is a man who is so insensitive that he doesn't care what happened. But what's true is that he can be located at work. The first time he hears that this baby was born, he receives a letter from the DA seeking child support.

All of a sudden, he thinks, that I'm supposed to be supporting a child because this woman who was trying to stay in the United States, says this is my baby.  He did want to see the child. Sarah opposed visits at first. What you will see, is that he was cooperative. He wanted a lot of visitation. Sarah was cautious.

When he was going back to Colorado, he raised a toast, that he now had visitation. He gave her presents from his grandmother's doll collection. That Brown had a close relationship with his grandmother.

Laub mentions hunting. Cam never harmed a creature. In all you're hearing about hatred and romantic presentation, .... and the way things change. He was a man who didn't hurt animals, that didn't hurt people ever.

I should thank the prosecutor for having given us the trial jurors trick of time counted, because it dramatically expands the sense of time. Whichever side has a conflict of presentation with that time, they will do that with the jurors.

That sense of time was not the sense of time when you go about your normal activities. That dramatic sense of time is consistent with the optical illusion that has been created, and why this is the second tragedy. Because there is a dead child. And that's a tragedy that is so awful.  No prosecution is going to ever out weigh that.

You saw time expanded, you're going to see the importance of things, blown out of proportion, repeatedly.

You'll be told that the difficulty of finances was cutting into Cam's lifestyle. You may want to know, what about his lifestyle was cut into. He had his hiking equipment. He had his surfing equipment. He wasn't a guy who went gambling in Vegas. Or needed money for a date in his Maserati.

You're going to hear that his wife was pressuring him about adoption. It's nonsense, that that court would grant taking the child away from the mother. And Cameron Brown wasn't thinking about anyone else. The evidence will show that's ridiculous.

Inappropriate behavior at the crime scene. People respond to tragedy in different ways. Why would the father, respond to the emergency personnel, asking about the election. Another thing you're going to hear, is that's a person in shock.  What you're going to hear, is that the coroner, could not, conclude that this was an accident. Because the medical evidence doesn't establish anything about that.

What you will hear is months later, the coroner went with the detectives to Inspiration Point, and based upon their conclusions, he puts in his report that it's a homicide. So that takes us to the second expert, is a man named Hayes, who has a huge credentials, then went to Oregon state. Hayes is the one that is certain, by applying the laws of physics, this is a child that had to have been thrown.

We will see a reenactment, that if you have this much effort and this much weight, ... and then what happens is, goes up to the cliff and takes a couple of throws ... and he's going to tell you that this is something that couldn't possibly be an accident. If you apply Newton's third law, what you get is any action will have an opposite reaction. If a person is throwing, they can't possibly move forward, this pushes you backward. The act of throwing pushes you backward.  This is the most important part of the analysis.

Laub gives more argument about this expert's opinion, and what the actual video will show. Brown watch his counsel give his opening statement.

You're going to hear that Brown gave a statement to detectives. What you will hear, is that Brown was cooperative to everyone. And when police wanted him to go to the station, he agreed. He went with police in the police car. He did things that made sense with being in shock. When he got there, the detectives were greeted by Cam's father, and Cam's wife.  His father said, if you're not charging him, release him.  Cam was there voluntarily. The officer's didn't tell the family.

The family said "We're getting a lawyer."  The detectives wanted to make sure that he talked to them, before the family got a lawyer. The police knew this, because Brown said this was an accident.  They accused him of it right there.

And when they accused him of it, he got a lawyer. The detectives kept harassing him. The detectives wrote Brown's lawyer. They didn't care. They still went after Brown.  From the beginning of the investigation, the investigation was biased. A lot of the things that are negative, come from one source. That is the mother of the child.

The detectives told Sarah that they believed he did it and they got a phone tap on her phone and she kept calling him.

The only reason the police had her do this, is because trying to get inconsistencies in his story. Cam didn't talk to her, on advice of his attorney. Why would he?

In this case, there's going to be a lot of conflicting evidence. Because what do you have when you go through custody documents.  You're going to hear that Sarah also lied on her court documents. I don't know that she did. She may not have filled out the forms correctly.

Laurens personality, and the idea that Lauren was this passive little girl. She was very sweet and feminine. Like she was a 1950's female. That's not how four year olds are like. They go in and out of different kinds of moods with energy and excitement, because what you do, is you push your boundaries.

Either someone is putting a huge amount of pressure on this child, which is what the teachers at the school observed, when she got around the teachers and authority figures. When she was around daddy, she was a playmate. When she was around that, she just exploded. And yes, Cameron Brown was irresponsible, he took her on his motorcycle. He took her on his boat. He drove with her in the front seat of his car. This is going to be presented to you by the prosecution that he didn't care. That's an optical illusion. In his own naive, and his own lacking parental skills, he treated her like a playmate. He wanted her to enjoy freedom. Come sit by me.

The total of two weeks was a map trick by the prosecution. Take 24 hours and string them together and it's two weeks. You'll hear that Cameron Brown missed one of his visits. Sarah cancelled some of the visits. You'll hear that he drove from Ventura to Orange County to see Lauren [for an hour] and drove all the way back.

I'm almost done. What caused the real break between Sarah and Cameron Brown, that supposedly that she said her husband Greg was willing to adopt. Cameron says, "That's never what I said I want," And that's where the major disruption occurred.

The only source of this kind of information, about the adoption, will only come from one witness, and the mother, who's going through the custody child support issue.

Nearly forgot about the statement given to the police.  When you hear about what the police did on this case, and what they went through. They went everywhere, flying everywhere they could, and hired professionals. Tape recordings, interview after interview, because everything they were trying to do to build a case. You're not going to get to hear a tape recording as to what Cameron Brown said. That somehow, in Los Angeles County, they didn't have a tape recorder that night.

Would be great if that was on tape. That one interview, that they really wanted to get, before an attorney, before he talked to his father, all you're going to get to hear, is what a police officer said.

At this point I've certainly talked long enough. All I'm going to do is say, is listen to this case and hear both sides and keep an open mind. I think that you can hear from the prosecution and the defense is [hear the evidence.].

Mr. Laub at one point, mentioned that Brown had a photo of Lauren in his wallet when he was arrested, and that he's not the monster the prosecution said he was.

The court calls for a 15 minute break.

Terri Keith from City News Service arrived before opening statements started. There is another reporter in the room that I'm not that familiar with.

11:35 AM
Judge Lomeli has counsel at sidebar. The court has not ruled on further audio of the trial. The Times cameraman comes over to Marisa and states that they can't video or audio the mother.

I explain to them that Judge Lomeli ruled on this last week, that there would be some witnesses that would not be photographed. It was up to the witness.

11:39 AM
The Public Information Officer explains to the press that there is no video or audio of the mother. Still photos are okay. The cameraman asks if the mother knows still photos are okay.  Still photos are okay.

11:41 AM
There is a bit of exchanging of information between a news reporter and Ms. York. Lots of back and forth with the reporters and camera operators.

11:45 AM
The jurors file back in.

There was an inquiry by jurors about good Friday. The court states that they can be in-session for half a day, but there's plenty of time from here to the April 3rd, Good Friday before they decide.

People call Sarah Key-Marer

Back in 1995 were you known as Key? Yes.
Key-Marer is her married name.

September 12, 1997. Husband is Gregory Marer. She was born in England, in the UK on Christmas Day. She had a daughter. Lauren Sarene Key. Born August 29, 1996. Who was the father of Lauren?
Cameron Brown.

Witness identifies the defendant.

Lauren was four years old. Died on Nov. 8, 2000.

A large photo of Lauren is put up on the clipboard by the jury box. The photo was taken about a month before she died.

She came to the United States in 1994. In November.  She was 25 years old. She came here on a tourist visa.

On November 4th, 1995, did you meet the defendant? Yes.
Met him at a bar in Newport Beach. It was on top of the Marriott Hotel.

She had gone with a girlfriend for an evening out. Met him at the bar, and struck up a conversation. She remembers that he introduced himself as a pilot. She used to be an airline stewardess.

At some point after that, she learned that he was a baggage handler. At the time she was single and not dating anyone. She began dating the defendant.

She was living in Costa Mesa with a roommate, Linda Peterson. She was working at a hotel called the Countryside Inn and Suites on the reception desk. The defendant was the only person she was dating.

Did the defendant ever asked if she was dating anyone else? She didn't tell him she was dating anyone else.  They went to dinner, took day trips out of town.

One time went to dinner with her friends, and other times with his friends. Friends she would go out with. She doesn't remember Brown's friends that they went out with. Her friends, they went to dinner with her friend Amy and Amy's boyfriend.

He lived in Redondo Beach, one time we rode bikes along the boardwalk. Another time they took a day trip down to La Jolla. Took trips to Las Vegas and Colorado.

Would you consider it as casual dating? She was hoping she was in a relationship. She didn't see it as casual dating at all.

When you went out to dinner who would pay? They would go dutch. She would pay her own way, he would pay his.

He lived on a boat in King Harbor, in Redondo Beach.

The Colorado trip. It was three or four nights. Three nights four days.
They went to Breckenridge because Cameron used to live there. Spent one night in Denver. Met the defendants friends in Breckenridge. Met a Jon and Lisa. Skied in Breckenridge. Met the defendant's grandfather in Las Vegas on that trip.

Flew to Colorado on American Airlines, the same airline that the defendant worked for.

Does remember once, when they were walking along the beach, somewhere in LA it was a beautiful sunny day, we came across this cliff behind us, and he pointed that a week or so ago, two children had died on this cliff. It upset me. And then he continued on about, just changed the conversation. It was very upsetting, and I was very distraught when I heard that. It stuck in my mind. I was confused as to why he changed the subject so quickly.

When he made the statement that was before Lauren was even born.

Do you remember where it was? She doesn't remember the exact location, but it was around Redondo Beach.  I don't remember exactly what he said about it now. She just remembers being affected by what he said.

When dating, did not meet the defendant's parents. No.
Did you have discussions about the parents. Yes.
What did he tell you about the parents? That they lived in Pennsylvania. That they lived far away.
Do you remember what he said specifically about them. No, I don't.

12:00 noon
The lunch break is called.

1;17 PM
Back on the 9th floor after a walk in the blistering heat. My friend Katie made it to court towards the end of the morning session. She attended the second trial with me.

1:23 PM
Later tonight I'll do spelling and clarity edits, so please bear with me. I don't do this typing and posting immediately very well.

1:28 PM
Inside Dept. 107. Off the record. In the well, DDA Hum is giving Mr. Laub a brief of the remaining questions he is going to ask Sarah.

1:33 PM
Sarah retakes the stand. The defendant is brought out. Judge Lomeli asks his clerk if the jurors are all here. They're all in the hallway. As soon as Brown is brought out the jurors are brought in.

Each time the jury comes and goes, Brown stands.

Direct continues with Ms. Key-Marer
Over the lunch hour, did I ask her to review testimony in another proceeding. Do you recall if I asked you if the defendant told you anything.

Yes, he told me that the children had fallen from the cliff.

Now asking about what Brown said to her about his parents. Yes, he told me that he hated his parents.

"It way my believe that if was a relationship, not a casual one."

Do you remember the first time you and the defendant had sex. Yes, it was on the boat in King Harbor.  They used protection. The condom failed. It broke. It caused her concern. I was at apoint in my menstaly cycle were I could get pregnant. Did you discuss this concern with the defendant. I made him aware that accident happened. It was at the crucial, dangerous time in her cycle. She doesn't recall his response.

She determined she was pregnant when she was late on her period and bought a home pregnancy test and confirmed she was pregnant. She was not having sex with anyone else at that time. She told the defendant she was pregnant.  She told the defendant within a day or so, of when found out she was pregnant.

Were you trying to get pregnant? No I was not.
Did you you think that if you got pregnant, you could stay in the country? No. That was not my understanding at the time.

When you told him what was his reaction. He seemed okay. I was in shock myself. He told me he had a prior relationship, where he had gotten someone pregnant.  He did not seem upset initially.

She then went out of state for Christmas holiday, to Seattle. With her aunt, uncle and cousin. Her mother was living in England. It was also her birthday. She thinks she stayed two or three nights.

She returned before the New Years holiday. Spoke to defendant after she came back, within a day or so. It was on the phone. Brown's attitude and demeanor was different in regards to the child. His tone was different. He was more opposed. He mentioned abortion. I clearly stated I wasn't interested in that.

What was it specifically that he said in regards to that? Other than suggesting abortion. ...
Did the defendant say anything about ready to be a father? I don't remember.
Did he bring up to you anything about how do I know this was my kid? No.

She continued to see the defendant. They continued to go out. They did not go out as frequently. The dates were different because it was more awkward. We still went on a date, but we never talked about the pregnancy whatsoever. It was the main thing on my mind. I was getting afraid. I didn't know where I was going to go at that point.  Anytime I mentioned the baby, she shut down. He did not respond.

Why did you continue to go out with him. I was in shock myself. I was looking for his help as well, to talk through this with me, as to what the next step would be.

Do you remember any occasions where you brought up the baby and the defendant had an adverse reaction. Objection Sustained.  Did you try to discuss names with the defendant. They were walking along the strand, along the beach. I was trying to discuss with him baby names. Brought up the subject gingerly. It was a busy area, and he just walked away. She couldn't find him. She tried to hail a taxi but she didn't have any money with her. She made it back to the harbor, and the gate was locked. She had to wait for someone to come.  When she got to the boat he was asleep.

During that time, she did not have a car. He would drive. He would pick her up. Incident regarding a baby swing.  We were walking past a thrift store. In the window was a baby swing. I thought, I could start collecting for the baby. In my wallet I had 11.00 and I asked him to loan me 2.00 for the swing.

Did he say anything when you asked him for money? Not at that time.  Later, went to a restaurant drive through. And she wanted to make a phone call. She went through his change drawer, and took a quarter to make a phone call. When he returned, she told him she took the quarter. He said, "All you want me for is my money."

The relationship deteriorated. She was more pregnant and he wasn't talking. He refused to talk about it. Later, she got a different job, working for a travel agency in Newport Beach. She told the defendant she had a new job. She gave him the phone number of the new job.

Sometime after the incident with the swing, he asked her to go to a counseling session. He told me he had a therapy session with this lady previously. What was your understanding about what the session would be in regards to. I thought it would be about the pregnancy and how we were to proceed. Did you go to the appointment? Yes he picked her up and went to the room with the defendant. The therapist was there. Doesn't remember the therapist's name.

They did talk about the pregnancy. It was just the therapist and myself. He didn't say much. He wasn't part of the conversation. She was talking to me aobut how, things work in American verses in England and the differences relate to abortion. I guess encourage me to think about abortion. The defendant was present. He didnt' say anything. It felt like a setup.  Was this counseling session after you had already told the defendant you din't want an abortion? Yes.

Did he tell you that abortion would be discussed at this session? No.  After the counseling session, did you tell the counselor. She made it clear that she wasn't interested in having an abortion. Do you recall what the ride home was like.  As far as I remember, there wasn't a lot of conversation. I was hoping it would be to talk about logistics.

Even after the counseling session, she still went out with the defendant. I guess I was still hoping that he would change his mind, and support me and still be there. Did you mean financially? Well, I was still in shock myself. I didn't have any family here.

After the counseling session, the relationship got worse because she realized he was not going to be there for me. It was more awkward. Were you freindly? Were hou hostile. I don't remember it being hostile, but it definitely was different.  They stopped seeing each other. I had in previous discussion with cameron was trying to get myself a car. I'd been looking around for a vehicle, Craigslist, etc. Found one to buy and ask if he would go with me. I didn't know anything about cars. Asked if he would loan me the money until I got paid. I heard him throw the phone on the floor.

It sounded to her as if the phone was thrown. I stayed on the line to see if he would pick it up. 45 minutes went by and then I just hung up. She could still hear him on the line, walking around, making noises.

Did you tell the defendant how much you wanted to borrow? She's not sure but thinks it was $400 to $600 dollars. It was a loan she was asking. She then made up her mind that it wasn't going too well, and she just went with it.

After her break up, there was a voice mail left on her phone. It was in a creepy tone. He said, "Are you still here yet?" She recognized the defendant's voice.

At the time, she was in the country living and working illegally. She told the defendant about that and he knew that she wasn't supposed to be working in the country. She tried to call him in April 1996, after she found out the sex of the baby. He answered the phone when she called.  She told him the baby would be a girl. He said it didn't matter, because he had called INS and that she was going to be deported any moment and taken away.  She was petrified. I really thought that they could do that. I didn't know how the system worked. She was afraid of being deported. I was afraid of him, that he would turn like that on me and do that to me. It scared me a great deal. I was in disbelief that he would turn so harshly.

Was there a time, that you saw the defendant again before you gave birth.  She was about 8 months pregnant. Her company was having a convention near the airport. She called him and invited him to come. I was showing. I was 8 months pregnant. I tried to talk to see if he had a change of heart about the pregnancy.

Shortly after that, she gave birth to Lauren. August 29, 1996 at a hospital in Newport Beach. The defendant was not there. She was in the hospital for a week. She had a cesarian section. She did not hear from the defendant while in the hospital. Had a roommate, Gina. Was still working at Travel company. She didn't hear from the defendant.

When Lauren was about six months old, she moved and had a different roommate, Carol. Still working at Travel Max. Never heard from defendant.

She was off work two months after she gave birth.

After she went back to work, she did not contact the defendant to tell him she had given birth. Based on everthying prior, if he was still trying to get her deported or fired from her job. She didn't tell him.

She was told by her HR department they had received an anonymous call that said she was stealing from the company.  Laub objects. Judge instructs information is not offered for the truth of the matter.

She didn't handle cash, so it was obvious it wasn't true. She recognized the phone number as belonging to Brown's grandmother's number. That caused her concern, because if she lost her job, she wouldn't have insurance for her baby.

From the time yo utold the defendant you were pregnant with his baby, did he ever question you if that was his child? No. A friend of her who attended the church she belonged to, had a little boy who was two. She watched Lauren. Her name was Leanne Orr. She belonged to a single parents group at her church and they became quite friendly. She thinks Leanne offered. It's also where she met her husband.  Her husband Greg had a son, Joshua.  Joshua was six.

I believe Joshua is in the gallery sitting with a woman about his age.

At some point she contacted the Orange County DA, for child support. She waited because she wasn't sure if she wanted to do that. Wanted to think about it. She wanted to try to do it on her own as best as she could. Money was tight. She consulted friends, and it would also open the door if Brown wanted to be a part of Lauren's life.  All of her information was given to the DA's office.

She was not opposed to the defendant getting to know Lauren? No. She was a new mom and enjoying being a mother. She knew this would be an opening.

At that time was she worried about any fears about the defendant? Not so much. Up until that point she had heard nothing from the defendant. She was still working at the same place with the same phone number.  She got back a response from the Orange Co. DA's office, that her request had been filed. She then made notes on the form.

Sept 12, 1997. Her and Greg got married. Then moved to another area in Costa Mesa. On may 21, 1998, notified that defendant was contesting paternity. Prior to that time, he never expressed at any time that he was not the father.

As a result of the claim by the defendant, she had to take a paternity test and so did Lauren. It was a blood test. After she heard that he was contesting paternity, he did not call or write her.

In February 1999, went to court with someone from Orange Co. DA's office and filled out an income document. When she went there, the defendant was present. The issue of child support, was handled by the DA's office. She just gave her information.

When she was at court and the defendant was there, he didn't ask any questions about Lauren. At the court hearing, paternity had been established. On Feb 11, 1999, she recieved an order for child support. The order was 952.00 in arrears, ... which total $1,032 dollars a month. That was to be paid to her through wage garnishment.

She did not specify an amount. She jsut provied her income and expenses. Then she started getting checks from the Orange Co, a check twice a month for 1/2 that amount. She was still working at Travel Max. The defendant made no attempt to contact her to ask about Lauren or meet Lauren.

In July 1999, found out that defendant had filed for joint legal custody, 32%  visitation. At that time, Lauren would have been three the next month. Had the defendant ever contacted about Lauren up to that point? No. He had never met Lauren. Had never expressed any interest in meeting Lauren.

That hearing was continued for different court dates down the line. Mediation was ordered. Mediation was ordered, for both of us to work out a visitation schedule. So we would meet in the office. Cameron and her would meet in the office with the mediator.  Did you work out a visitation schedule.

She drew up a schedule that would start slower than the one offered through the court. He had never met Lauren, and I didn't want to leave her alone with someone she had never met. I asked if I could supervise the visits and start with a grandual plan, and slowly increase the hours over the weeks.

Was it your desire to keep the defendant from Lauren. No, she just wanted it to go slower, for Lauren. The defendant agreed to it. She was not opposed to the defendant meeting Lauren. She knew that eventually, the visits would not be supervised.

A gradual visitation schedule was agreed to and made into a court order. December 1999, was the first visit. They met at Huntington Beach Park. It was about an hour long. Lauren was excited and so was I. Cameron was nice, gentle and kind. We played on a park aparatus. I said to Cameron, I hope you can put the past behind us. He seemed agreeable.

For the next month, it was one to two hours. They went to different places. The initial visits seemed to go very well.  Eventually the visits would become unsupervised visits. For unsupevised what was the plan beyond that. That she would collect her from school, and she would get her for a number of hours, and drop her back off at my house. The plan was for then overnight visits.

How did you fele about. At the time I felt good about it. I encouraged it. She came up with the term "Papa Cameron." She had my husband, who was Daddy Greg, so she could diferentiate between each one, because she was so young.

She wanted Lauren to get to know Cameron's mother, Lynn. Did you tell the defendant? I did. He said that she was a bad lady. He spoke negatively about his mother. Was it in a normal voice, sad, or angry voice. It was in more of an angry voice.  How did that make you feel since you wanted to get to know her grandmother. Not good, since Lauren wanted to get to know her as well. Brown strongly opposed the visits with Lynn. He may of told me why, but I don't remember.

How did you resolve that. We didn't really resolve it. I went ahead and contacted her without him knowing and set up a meeting for her to be introduced and get to know Lauren.  Why did you set up  these visits with Lauren and her grandmother if you knew the defendant opposed them? I wanted to make my mind up about her myself. I'd spoken to her several times on the phone. She seemed like a genuine person. There may be something going on between then, but I didn't want to hold back Lauren knowing her grandmother.

It was very nice. Went to 'her' mother's house on the Strand. She was very nice and warm and loving. We had lunch, up in the attic she had this expensive doll collection. Lauren loved to look ath the dolls. It was exciting. Then we went for a walk along the beach.

About this time, how many visits between the two of them, before introduced Lauren to her grandmother. Maybe five.

That first visit between Lauren and her grandmother, was the defendat there? Not the first visit. Thinks the second visit, the defendant was there. He was in the dirveway working on a vehicle, but he didn't come and join us. It was at the same location as the first visit.

At sometime after, did the defendant say anything about his mother and the visits? She doesn't remember.  After you started the visits with Lynn, did the defendant say anything about his mother. He would say things about his mother, in front of Lauren, that she was a bad lady. I asked him not to say those things in front of Lauren, because she had a different experience with Lynn.

When the defendant made these comments about his mother, that was during a visit with Lauren and her and the defendant. During that occasion, he cut the visit short and left. There were other occasions when the defendant would make negative comments about his mother in front of Lauren. several times. Sarah would ask him not to do that. She doesn't remember.

Did you and the defendant argue about the fact that he was making these negative comments about his mother in front of Lauren. She doesn't remember, but she believes so. She asked him to stop doing that, but the relationship with Brown started to change. Because of this issue of him badmouthing his mother. She wanted to protect her daughter from hearing things she shouldn't.

Her relationship with Brown broke down after she asked him to stop with the comments. The issue of the reduction in child support was still pending in the courts. The unsupervised visits started in February 2000. He would collect her from school, and drop her at my house. She didn't know where they went or what they did.

She would talk about in the beginning, but as they continued, she would tell her mother less and less. They would go to Target, other places. Brown would pick her up from a christian Montessori school in Costa Mesa and drop Lauren off at her home.  Initially it was 2 hours, and increased the time.

Initially, Lauren would tell Sarah what they did. As the visits progressed, she told her less and less. They were pretty close. Usually she would tell Sarah anything about her day, what she was feeling thinking. So it was pretty unusual.

Went  back to court and the visit time was increased through the mediator. When the unsupervised visits continued, Lauren became more withdrawn. She didn't want him to pick up from school.

There were more tantrums, she seemed more emotionally upset, fretful, more anxious. This was ususual behavior for Lauren. She was a kid, she had tantrums, but they were increasing more often than usual.  Lauren was a very happy child. She had a joyful spirit. That started to change. She became more anxious. I would try to ask her what's wrong, what's bothering her. It was if she was holding something in.

Appetite. Around the time, it decreased a little bit. She wasn't her usual self. She had this funny thing about her socks and underwear. She kept saying, it's not right, it's not right. She worked herself up. And I could see it wasn't about the socks... Objection sustained.

Prior to that visit, once in a while she did have trouble keeping he socks on. Objection sustained.

She didn't want to wear underwear. She just had a problem with it. This was unusual behavior for Lauren. This started after the unsupervised visits. At this time they were living in Huntington Beach. They had hardwood floors. She started to say that she didn't want to walk on hardwood floors. She wouldn't explain why. She didn't want to walk on hardwood floors. She seems to be s truggling with something. It only lasted a few weeks, but it was odd for her.

These changes in behavior caused her concern. Did they get better or worse as the unsupervised visits continued. They got worse. I contacted a psychologist for information that would explain the behavior. One time I contacted the police, the CPS hotline. She was just reaching out with anyone that could help with this. Asked the mediator for any kind of child advocacy. Mediator was Jan Mueller. No agency provided her with help.

Id you ever encourage Lauren to act this way? No. Did you ever discorage to going on visits with the defendant? No. I was wearry. I was writing a journal that what happened on the visits. I was following the court order. Did not tell Lauren to act up on visits. Did you discourage or encourage, the visits. I always held Cameron i nhigh regard. I wanted her to have agood relationship with her father.

With every visit, I tried to tell her to have a good visit, to make it fun. Never spoke to Lauren negatively about Brown. May have spoken to her husband, but never Lauren.

Defendant's request for reduction of child support was still being considered by the court. There was one time in court, the defendant told the court verbally, that he was in pain, had an injury and his support was reduced. She doesn't think he ever provided the court with proof.

Spoke to the defendant on the phone about an adoption. Called him late one night after a discussion with my husband, that if he was agreeable, to have my husband Greg, adopt Lauren. That would relieve Brown of the financial. If he still wanteded, he could have visitation with Lauren. He pretty much agreed to it right then. Sarah told him was a big decision, that he should think about it and discuss it with his girlfriend. His girlfriend's name was Patty.

Left it at that, on that phone call.  Couple days later there was a visitation schedule. It was a childrne's play place, called Planet kids. Had her son Joshua with her also. She was unbuckling Lauren fron the car seat. He said he would like to go ahead with the adoption. She told him she wanted to get the children settled in play then they could discuss it.

Once they got inside and kids were playing, they had more detailed discussion. He said that he was planning on moving up North in the future, he could see how settled Lauren was with her family, and he would also like to have the opportunity to visit up there, if she wished. He said he was moving up North with his girlfriend.

During the conversation, did he want the adoption done by. He said one month. Did you take that as a firm deadline, how did you take that. I didn't know why he put time limitations on it. He didn't specify.

About one month after the conversation, did the defendant tell you he'd done anything. He flew to Hawaii and married Patricia. It was the appoximate time when he said he wanted it done within a month. He said that he had a month, for the adoption, or it wasn't going to happen. He didn't say why.

At the time they had this discussion about the adoption, the child support reduction was still pending in the courts for March.  She completed a declaration and filed it in the court, and said something negative about the defendant. I wrote down that he showed little interest in her well being or her daily activities, where she went to church or her life in general. That was filed under penalty of purgery. It was true. In that declaration she put in that Brown did not have a good relationship with his parents.

She also mentioned about the adoption in the declaration. She did not make that up. She states it was true.

Hum introduces his next exhibit, a declaration filed with the court. People's #2.

The court calls for the afternoon break. The jury files out.

The courtroom empties. DDA Hum pulls a power bar out of a bag and eats it quickly. Laub's investigator goes to get coffee for himself and Laub.

I get up to stretch my legs and walk the hallway.

3:18 PM
Court is back in session. The victim's family reenters the courtroom. 

Sarah is wearing a black dress. She has blond hair, past her shoulders.

Judge Lomeli states they will have a short day tomorrow. They will got until 2:30 pm.

Back on the record. Presenting the responding declaration in response to the defendant asking for a reduction in child support. It is the document he wrote.

Prior to the court hearings in this case, she would meet with the mediator prior to court. That's when the new visitation schedule would be worked out. She met with the mediator prior to defendant's request for child support. They did have a court hearing on March 9, 2000. The court had the request from the defendant and her declaration.

She's not remembering a conversation conversations with the defendant after the hearing. She did have aconversation with the defendant after the hearing after he had received her declaration. The conversation with the defendant in the hallway right outside the courtroom.

His demeanor was angry. Was he yelling? Was he glaring? He wasn't yelling. He just said, I'll get you for this. What goes around comes around, in an angry, scary like tone.  He also said not to talk to him ever again. That was in that same angry tone.  Her reaction; she was afraid of his demeanor. The way he spoke to her, it scared her.

After he told her not to speak to him anymore, so she didnt have any communication. By the usuggestion of the mediator, was to write down on a notepad things they wanted to say. So that's how they conversed, was on a notepad.  They passed notes back and forth via the mediator.  All communication was through the mediator.

After this conversation where the defendant said, all this, the no longer attended mediation together. They went separately. Because ther was such a cut in the mediation. He would go separately first. Then a 5-10 minute delay. They were never in the room together anymore. That was not by her request. There were no further discussions about adoption.  He told her not to speak to him again. There was a shift in their relationship. If he wanted to go ahead with the adoption, I figured he would tell me. She did tell the mediator about the adoption.

When he would drop Lauren off, she would have some interaction with the defendant.  The reaction and demeanor towards her by the defendant on those occasions, he was disrespectful.  When he would drop Lauren off, there was no conversation obviously. Some things he would say, would come out of Lauren, that she would say things, that he told her.

Did there come a point where, in April, that he was supposed to pick up Lauren and he didn't. She called him directly. He said he didn't have gas money. She offered the gas money so he could see Lauren. Lauren was getting confused, because she had told Lauren there were plans for a visit.  When she mentioned this, he replied, that "Sometimes things don't go the way they plan to."

There was a drop off for a visit with a Volkswagon bus. Her son was in the front garden. Her son went to look inside the open door. And almost caught her son's head in the door. The defendant's wife almost fell out. The defendant's demeanor was angry.

When Lauren would return from these longer unsupervised visits, would she make comments to you, about what was going to happen to you and things of that nature. She did make a comment, yes.

She told me I was going to jail. She just said, you're going to jail. You're stealing money from Daddy.  From Pappa Cameron. She commented that, Greg was the wrong dad and Josh was the wrong brother. Did she say anything about you, that you were going to jail for stealing Papa Cameron's money. "I don't remember."

At some point, was an examination scheduled through the court. There was a 730 evaluation scheduled. What was that. It was a psychological evaluation of both parties, and their families. It would include herself, Greg and Lauren. It would also include Brown and Patty. She was in favor of it. She thought that it would be perfect, and that the evaluator could see what was going on.

Brown was supposed to pay for this. The day of or very soon before it was supposed ot happen it was cancelled because he didn't pay for it. In June, overnight visits started.  What were the logistis.

Every other week, it would be a differnet schedule, he would collect her from School on Wendensday and drop her off at the house at 4:30. The following week, he would pick her up from the house and return her the following day in the afternoon.

These were on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. After these visits started, she learned that Brown had made an allegation of child abuse against Lauren.  When she learned this, she was in complete shock and denial, that he had alleged that, about me. After the meeting with the mediatory, she scheduled an appointment with a peditrician, to examine her. She had a full examination, and the doctor presented her with a letter that there was no child abuse.

There was an investigation by social services. They came over to interview her and her family. Someone came out to interview her. Her name was Jodi Dodge. Greg, Sarah, Josh and Lauren all spoke with Ms. Dodge.  First spoke to everyone as a group then took Josh aside and interviewed him privately. She interviewed Lauren at her school. The allegations were proven to be unfounded, correct. True.

Was there an incident in June of 2000, where rather than thedefendant picked Lauren up, Patricia picked Lauren up. Sarah wasn't expecting Patty. Sarah was surprised. Sarah wasn't expected this. Patty leaned down on one knee, and said, "Come to Mommy." Lauren froze, she didn't really know Patty. Patty wasn't authorized to pick up Lauren.

She told Patty to wait, she was going to call her husband and attorney by the time she got back to the door, she already had Lauren buckled into the car seat and left.

Did you ever tell Lauren to act up or cry, when she was with thedefendant. No. Never told Lauren anything to discourage her visits with the defendant. For Lauren's sake, tried to make the visits pleasant for Lauren.

She was very afraid and cautious about the visits. She could see the stress it put on Lauren. Sarah didn't like what she was seeing with Lauren at all. She spoke to her attorney. He said to just follow the court order, and to wait for the court proceeding in November.

Sarah didn't know how Brown would react. He seemed to get angry very easily. Did the defendant ever talk about his mother. There was something happening with Cameron's mother.

Did the defendant's mother tell you something going on in the family. She did.
Did that invlive you? It did. She wanted me to pass a message onto Cameron, because he wasn't speaking to her either. There was someting that was going on in their family. He said he wouldn't go to her funeral. He didn't care. He was so abusive with his speach, about his mother. That concerned her.

Something his father told her about the defendant's behavior. His father mentioned something that hapened when they were gathering the Brown family some years before. Brown had exhibited some anger. They were having dinner, Brown's brother had asked to pass the ketchup. Brown went outside and jumped on his brother's car, and destroyed it. that caused her concern, for Lauren's birthday.

August 29, was Lauren's 4th birthday.
That photo of Lauren was taken around that time.

Lauren and Sarah flew to England for a wedding. The photo was taken during that trip. Just she and Lauren went. Was there anything different about Lauren on that trip. She seemed to be back to her usual self. Her behaviors seemed to stop. She didn't have tantrums. she seemed herself again. Happy, like the old Lauren.

Two days after they returned, October 31st, 2000. Was that a Tuesday Wednesday overnight visit. And October 31 was Halloween. She had made her a princess dress for Lauren. She was diressed up as a princess.

The defendant came to pick Lauren up for her overnight visit. They were waiting for Brown on the lawn. they were talking to their next door neighbor, Mick LeGraff. He came to pick up Lauren with Patty. They picked her up. There was a disagreement between Brown and Patty and Sarah. Patty got out of the front seat so Lauren could sit in the front seat.

I told her Lauren not to sit in the front seat. She was standing her ground, it was a safety issue. She was arguing with Brown in front of Lauren. Eventually, she sat in the back seat. Lauren was very upset.  As they pulled away, she shouted, "What else do you do, when you're not smacking your kid around.?" The defendant and Patty laughed about that. Lauren was back home the next day.

When she returned, Lauren did not want to go on any more visits with Brown. She said, "The next time Papa Cameron comes, can I hid under the bed, and you tell him I'm not here." That was November 1st. For the entire next week. She was fretful. She was sad. She had been like this before, but not so intense.

Before, after a day, this behavior went away after a day or two. This time, she remaind that way for the rest of the week.  There was a scheduled court hearing at the end of November, to decide [I believe to decide the support reduction and visitation].

When Lauren's behaivor didn't return to normal, after a few days, you went to your lawyer's office to speak to him. Yes. She jsut went to speak to him without an appointment. She was concerned about Lauren's behavior. She wanted to see if there was a way to have the visits stop, until the court hearing at the end of November. She was pretty upset.

Describe the way you were acting with Mr. Thompson. She was crying, she was begging, she didn't care what it cost. She didn't want to put Lauren through the visits anymore.

When you were begging Mr. Thomas, did they stop? No. Did Mr. Thomas tell you to do anything. Objection! Laub is upset. He says, Let's ask Mr. Thomas. She got advice. She continued to allow the visits.

The break. Return tomorrow at 9:30 AM.

The jury files out. Hum wants court to admonish Mr. Laub. Laub states Hum knows he was trying to be a wise guy in front of the court. And for him to have Mr. Laub admonished.

The court said that he tried to rephrase

I'd like Mr. Hum to be admonished. He knows exactly what he's doing. Once you explained the objection.   Mr. DDA Hum was trying to rephrase the quesiton but I the court doesn't see it Mr. Laubs way. The court doesn't believe that Hum was reasking the same question.

Laub is at sidebar, still trying to get the court on this issue.

The gallery empties. Continues tomorrow.

Local ABC 7 Video Story on Opening Statements

LA Times Story

Cameron Brown, 3/25/15, during opening statements in 3rd trial.
Photo Credit: Pool camera, LA Times photographer, Mark Boster