Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cameron Brown Retrial: Day Eight

I did not attend court on Day Eight. This was the day that Sprocket was scheduled to come home from the vet, Dr. Broome, who specializes in treating feline hyperthyroid. The clinic is in Tustin, California. There is a remote location in West Los Angeles (an associate vet's office) where Dr. Broome will take in new patients to transport them down to his clinic and brings them back.

And wouldn't you know it, the day I'm gone there is a dust-up in 107. Fortunately, Denise Nix had stopped by the courtroom that morning to check on the status of the trial and was either an observer to what happened or she got an update from counsel on what happened.

Here is her entire story on that incident in The Daily Breeze:


While on the 9th Floor of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center downtown today for closing arguments in the Miguel Magallon death penalty trial, I popped into the Cameron Brown murder retrial to see what's been going on.

I had apparently just missed a bit of drama. According to Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum, proceedings were postponed for about an hour because Brown, 47, refused to come out of his jail cell. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor was set to sign an extraction order that would give deputies permission to physically extract him when Brown came out on his own.

Then, defense attorney Pat Harris asked that 4-year-old victim Lauren Sarene Key's mother, Sarah Key-Marer, who has watched the entire trial, be excluded from the courtroom because her presence was jeopardizing his client's right to a fair trial. Hum argued against it, and Key-Marer addressed the judge, asking that she be allowed to remain - as she's been looking for answers for nine years. In the end, Pastor allowed her to stay.

In the two weeks since the trial began, jurors have heard from Key-Marer, witnesses who were around Inspiration Point on Nov. 8, 2000, the first emergency responders to the scene, Lauren's pre-school teachers, a pediatrician and direct questioning of the investigating officer, Jeff Leslie, who is expected to undergo cross examination for much of the remainder of the week.

I was right. Harris was trying to get the mother of the victim excluded from the courtroom. I can't imagine what valid argument he would have had to exclude her, except if she was "somehow" creating a disturbance in the courtroom, or making facial expressions, during other testimony, etc. When I was there, I saw nothing of the kind.

I still need to get with the prosecution to inquire if there were other, out of town witnesses that testified on this day so I can ensure I'm reporting the correct number of witnesses. I believe Detective Leslie was the only witness on the stand this day undergoing cross, but I'm not positive.