Sarah Key-Marer, left; Lauren Sarene Key, 4.
Lauren died on November 8, 2000.
Cameron Brown was convicted of first degree murder
in Lauren's death with the special circumstances of
murder for financial gain and lying in wait.
UPDATE 5/19: On 5/14, Inside Edition did a short piece on the case, about two and a half minutes. Includes a few seconds of Lauren dancing, which was not included in the aired segment.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Brown Verdict Aftermath
I have been dreaming about this case almost every night for the last three months. And last night I still dreamed about it. It's an understatement to say that it haunted me. If it haunted me, imagine what Lauren's family went through. Contrary for what is often said, it will never be 'over' for Lauren's family.
Beyond Sarah, Greg and Josh, Lauren had a wide circle of family and friends, spread across the globe, who knew her and loved her. They too, have been forever changed by her death.
There are other victims of this tragedy that are often overlooked and that's Cameron Brown's family. As far as I know, Brown's wife Patty steadfastly believes in his innocence. There's also Brown's parents and siblings. They are victims of this event, just as much as Lauren and her family. They now have a member of their family who has been convicted of first degree murder. That will forever change them, too.
From all witness accounts, Lauren was an easy going, obedient child. She was a delightful, chatterbox, who enjoyed engaging with others and talking about her day. Her interests were typical for her age. She liked to play house, play with her dolls, sing songs and draw. Lauren's friends tell me she also loved to perform a rock concert, and enjoyed simple things like cuddle on the sofa with ice cream. She looked for fairies in the garden, loved her family and church.
At trial, witnesses testified she wanted to be carried verses walking, didn't like to hike, and that she was a cautious child and not very adventurous. We will never know the young woman she could have grown into, or what she could have accomplished.
What Happens Next
As it stands now, Brown will be sentenced on June 19, 2015. If there are any changes in that, I will let T&T's readers know. The judge does not have any discretion in sentencing. The sentence is written into the law. Because of the two special circumstances that were proven, the sentence is LWOP (life without the possibility of parole).
After sentencing, [probably around a week or a little more] Brown will be transferred to the State of California, Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (DOCR). Co-contributor CaliGirl9 [who is familiar with the ins and outs of the DOCR] believes that because Brown murdered a child, he will be assigned to either a SHU or a PHU.
Once in state custody, Brown will be transferred to an intake facility where he will be photographed and assessed for a period of time. That's so the DOCR can determine where to place him. It doesn't necessarily mean that intake facility is where he will eventually end up. I believe the period of time to assess Brown could be as long as 90 days.
CaliGirl9's Information on SHU's & PHU's
SHU is security housing units, and PHU is protective housing unit. SHUs are disruptive inmates, PHUs are celebrity inmates, or inmates who have done certain crimes, or gay/cross dressers/transexuals. One might argue Cameron Brown could end up in either. Based on the crap he pulled with the cameras, [needing to be filmed when moved] etc., he might be a SHU.
Based on his crimes, he may be a PHU. As you know, the most secure PHU is Corcoran. But if Brown is not "famous" in the prison system (he might not be, because he killed just one kid) he'd be in a regular PHU. So one might say SHU is based on inmate behavior, PHU based on celebrity or the crime convicted of.
AdSeg is "administration segregation." It's for inmates who have committed infractions, or inmate just entering the system and being assessed.
This is what Corcoran's web site says about SHU: "Inmates whose conduct endangers the safety of others or the security of the institution are housed in SHU. In most cases, these inmates have committed serious rules violations while housed in a general population setting."
One could argue Brown's behavior that required the attendance of a Sargent or Lieutenant, and not a regular CO, might be considered disruptive. One could also argue that he won't hesitate to talk about his crime, which will put him into a PHU.
After sentencing, the county's job is done. The District Attorney's office and the LA County Superior Court are no longer involved.
Convicted of a crime, Brown is entitled to one free appeal, paid for by the State of California. It's a given that Brown's counsel will file an appeal with the Courts of Appeal on his behalf. The State's Attorney General's office is responsible for responding to Brown's appeal.
If Brown can afford it, he can hire his own attorney. If he can't, the state provides an attorney free of charge to handle his appeal.
Once the appeal is filed, the case activity can be tracked through the California Courts of Appeal website. There are no hearings to attend like there are when the case was in LA County Superior Court. Brown's appeal will take at least a year, most likely more to get fully briefed. The best example I have is the Stephanie Lazarus case. You can read the docket on Lazarus' appeal to get an idea of what may happen in Brown's appeal.
I will attend the sentencing and report on Brown's appeal as information becomes available.
I have a few polls for T&T readers. Please leave your thoughts in the comments, or if you have any additional questions about the evidence.