A man whose children had been placed in the care of their maternal grandmother was convicted Wednesday of murdering the woman, who was a teacher, at a Long Beach park as her students played nearby.
Jurors deliberated about four hours before finding Steven Brown, 52, of Long Beach guilty of first-degree murder for the Oct. 11, 2013, killing of Kellye Taylor, whose throat was slit at Orizaba Park.
Brown’s three children — all under the age of 12 — had been placed with Taylor, according to Deputy District Attorney Diana Martinez.
“He did not want his children to be in the care of the victim,” the prosecutor said. “He said he wanted anyone but her to take care of the children.”
Taylor, 53, was attacked while she was watching over her Huntington Academy students, who were on recess in the park at Spaulding Street and Orizaba Avenue.
Another teacher who was at the park whisked the children away from the scene and a third teacher rendered aid to the mortally injured woman, the prosecutor said.
DNA evidence from a knife found nearby linked the weapon to Brown and the victim, the prosecutor said.
Brown was arrested at the intersection of Anaheim Street and Redondo Avenue, a few blocks from the private Huntington Academy. He has remained jailed since then.
Brown — who has prior strikes for residential burglary and robbery — is facing 86 years to life in state prison, with sentencing set for March 4 at the Long Beach courthouse.
— Wire reports