Monday, August 29, 2016

Lauren Sarene Key 8/29/1996 - 11/8/2000

Lauren Sarene Key, date unknown
Lauren Sarene Key was murdered a few months after her 4th birthday. She would have been 20 years old today. 

Lauren was thrown off of Inspiration Point, a 120ft cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, by her biological father, Cameron Brown in November 2000. Fifteen years later, Brown was convicted of Lauren's murder on May 13, 2015. He was sentenced to life without parole on September 18, 2015.

Even in her short time on earth, Lauren was a delight to those who knew and loved her. Her mother Sarah, her step-father Greg, step-brother Josh, her teachers, and close friends.

Lauren could best be described as a girly girl. She played with dolls, believed in fairies and enjoyed playing house under the dining room table. Her mother's best friend Annette said, "It was easy to fall in love with this baby,"

At Brown's sentencing, her brother Josh described what she was like. "Her personality would brighten up the room. She would dance, sing and tell jokes. She would draw everyone in. She enjoyed making people happy. She had a fascinating imagination and she loved playing pretend. ... She would have me play, too."

During the two trials, I got to see photos and video clips of Lauren playing, walking on the beach, and learning how to roller skate and use a skateboard.

Photos of Lauren in happier times:

Lauren and her mother, Sarah

I have my own little remembrance of Lauren that I see everyday. It was given to me by her family. It sits on my desk, right beside my ring cup and laptop. The medallion says, "Always Remembered, Lauren."

Complete Cameron Brown murder trial case coverage HERE.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cameron Brown's Appeal Status II - Brown's Opening Brief is Filed

 Cameron Brown, during his third murder trial.
Photo Credit: Pool Photo, Associated Press

Full case coverage HERE.
Prior post on the case HERE.

August 11, 2016

After three trials and 11 years in LA County Sheriff's custody, on May 13, 2015, Cameron Brown was convicted of first degree murder in the death of his 4 year old daughter, Lauren Sarene Key. Lauren plunged to her death off of Inspiration Point, a 120 foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA on November 8, 2000. Jurors also found true the special circumstances of lying in wait and murder for financial gain. Brown was sentenced to life without parole on September 18, 2015.

The Appeal Docket
The California Courts of Appeal website indicates that Brown's appeal was filed today. [Two screenshots were taken to show you the complete docket.]

Brown's opening brief was over 25,500 words. Once the California Attorney General's office files their response to Brown's opening brief, Brown's attorney files a reply brief. After all the briefs have been filed, then the waiting game begins for oral arguments to be scheduled. 

To give you an idea of how long it might take, oral arguments in the Stephanie Lazarus case were scheduled 18 months after the case was fully briefed.

Where is Brown Now?

Once in the custody of California's Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Brown spent about eight months at WASCO, an intake facility. That appears to be an unusually long time at an intake facility. Within the past month or so, Brown was transferred to the CDCR's Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility at Corcoran State Prison, where he is today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Grim Sleper," Lonnie Franklin, Jr. Sentencing Today

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., May 5, 2016
Photo Credit: Pool Camera/Video

Full T&T Case Coverage HERE.
Prior case post found HERE.

UPDATE: Daily News - City News Service, Terri Keith report.
UPDATE: ABC7's Miriam Hernandez is live tweeting the sentencing.

August 10, 2016
Lonnie Franklin, Jr., the "Grim Sleeper" a serial killer whose killing spree of young women spanned over 20 years in South Central Los Angeles, was convicted on 10 counts of first degree murder and one count of premeditated attempted murder on May 5, 2016.

During the penalty phase of the trial, Deputy DA's Beth Silverman and Marguerite Rizzo connected Franklin to five additional victims, the oldest dating back the 1970's when Franklin was in the US Army stationed in Germany.

On June 6, 2016, the jury returned death verdicts on all 11 counts. It's expected that Judge Kathleen Kennedy will honor the jury's verdict and sentenced Franklin to death today.

During the penalty phase, jurors heard the heart wrenching memories of 28 family members of the victims testifying about their loss and grief of losing their mother, their sister, their daughter or the grandmother they never got to meet.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the sentencing today.  Our kitty Scout, who was diagnosed last year with Lymphoma, has not been doing well these past few days. I stayed up with him all last night. Hopefully our vet can help him feel better today.

ABC Associated Press- Brian Melley

LA Times - Marissa Gerber & James Queally
NBC4 - Wire Serivces
CBS2 - Local