(May 13, 2015: Los Angeles Superior Court, California) Cameron Brown showed no emotion after a jury convicted him of 1st degree murder after he cruelly tossed his 4 year old daughter Lauren Sarene Key off a 120 foot cliff to avoid paying child support, and to get revenge against his ex partner.
On the last day of her life, Lauren Key was reported to be crying inconsolably when she learned that her father would be picking her up from school. Mother, Sarah Key-Marer decided to break the court order and pick her daughter from school but by then it was too late. A stepbrother Josh, who was 10 years old at the time, also came forward to say that he had a conversation with Lauren the night before her death, and she stated “I think I will die tomorrow” and made him swear not to tell anyone. Josh was agonized by Lauren’s death and due to the crippling emotional pain he considered suicide, and turned to drugs; but is now on the road to recovery.
Revealed in trial, Brown requested that Key-Marer get an abortion because he never wanted to have children, and also attempted to get her deported (she is a British citizen). He also bitterly complained about paying child support.
Betsy A. Ross of “The Trials and Tribulations Blog” (Sprocket & Company) has extensively covered the case and shares what she learned about Lauren: “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’.” Lauren Sarene Key 8/29/1996 – 11/8/2000
It took nearly 15 years to secure a conviction after two previous juries were deadlocked over whether Brown committed murder or manslaughter.
Sarah Key-Marer, said after the verdict,“All I ever wanted was that he would take responsibility for what happened that day, so I’m thankful for God for carrying me and my friends and family through this time.
Lauren was our gift from God, the best thing that ever happened to us. We just learned to live with the pain. There are no winners here, certainly not for Cameron’s family, and not for ours.“
Cameron Brown was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on September 18, 2015. Brown has filed an appeal, which has been fully briefed on 2/27/2017 and denied a petition for review in the Supreme Court on 4/26/2017.
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