After 15 years, 53-year-old Camereon John Brown was sentenced to life in prison on Friday after throwing his 4-year-old daughter over a 120-foot cliff to her death, reported CBS Los Angeles. On November 8, 2000, tragedy struck when Lauren Sarene Key fell to her death during a hiking trip with her father in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
LAPD was immediately notified of the tragic incident, and Brown’s story was that she fell as she was running towards the edge of the cliff, but after a thorough investigation, it was concluded that it was impossible for her to have fallen over on her own. “The expert witnesses made it pretty clear and when we did the site visit it was clear to us, as well, that it didn’t seem likely that a 4-year-old girl would be up there of her own volition,” said Foreman Greg Apodaca.
It was later determined that Brown killed his daughter by throwing her over the cliff because he didn’t want to pay child support. He and his daughter’s mother, Sarah Key-Marer, were in a “bitter dispute” over child support and custody. In order to rid himself of the aggravation, he murdered his own daughter.
According to KTLA 5, the former airline baggage handler was convicted on May 8 of first-degree murder, but he still claimed he was innocent and that she accidently fell over the cliff. After he was convicted of the crime, he said “Judge, I’m innocent.”
After more than a decade, justice will finally be served after a Los Angeles judge sentenced Brown to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Brown sat emotionless, looking straight ahead in an orange jumpsuit as the judge read him his sentencing.
The victim’s mother appeared in court and told her former boyfriend that “I’ll miss the warmth of her skin, her crystal blue eyes, her gentleness. I miss tickling her tummy and watch her giggle so hard that her tears of laughter would run down her cheeks. I miss her nuzzling her face against mine and whispering softly in my ear: ‘I love you mommy.’ “
Prosecutor Craig Hum told the mother that he couldn’t possibly imagine what she has gone through over the past 15 years without her baby girl, as “There are some crimes that are so horrendous, they just boggle the mind, they make you question our humanity,” said Hum. “She was 4-years-old.”
The girl’s stepbrother, Joshua Marer, added: “I beat myself up for many years that God had taken her and not me. I couldn’t believe God would have a plan for me and allow Lauren’s life to be cut short.”
Brown’s wife, Patricia, who believes her husband is innocent, says she “plans to appeal the case.”
[Image courtesy of KTLA]