In the nearly 15 years since Sarah Key-Marer got the chilling news that her four-year-old daughter had plunged to her death from a sea cliff, the mother has waited for the girl’s father to take responsibility.
He never did, and after two previous juries deadlocked, jurors have finally convicted Cameron Brown of first-degree murder in the death of Lauren Sarene Key.
A shocked Key-Marer breathed heavily and began crying as the verdict was read in LA Superior Court.
“Lauren was our gift from God, the best thing that ever happened to us,” Key-Marer said. “We just learned to live with the pain.”
Brown, a former airline baggage handler, hurled the girl to her death from a 120ft cliff in November 2000 because he never wanted the child and was locked in a dispute with her mother over child support and custody, a prosecutor said.
Two previous juries failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether Brown was guilty of murder or manslaughter, and he has spent nearly a dozen years behind bars awaiting an outcome.
Brown showed no sign of emotion as the verdict was read. After Key-Marer and jurors left the courtroom, Brown told the judge he was innocent.
Brown, 53, faces mandatory life in prison without parole when sentenced on June 19 for the killing.
He told police the girl tripped and fell as she ran toward the cliff’s edge at Inspiration Point in Rancho Palos Verdes.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved