A 32-year-old Altadena man accused of fatally stabbing his mother and uncle in their Altadena home was jailed Tuesday on $2 million bail.
Robert Cotton was booked on suspicion of the murders of Kenneth Wayne Preston, 69, and his sister, Carol Anne Brown, 67, who both died at the scene of the Monday afternoon attack, according to the coroner’s office and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies from the Altadena Station went to a residence in the 3100 block of North Marengo Avenue about 2:45 p.m. on a report of a possible kidnapping in progress, Deputy Tracy Koerner said.
Brown, a Pasadena City College employee, was in her living room on a Zoom call with a colleague who saw part of the attack on Preston and called 911, according to sheriff’s Lt. Barry Hall, who said the tipster saw a man dragging another man into the living room but did not see either victim being stabbed.
When deputies arrived, they found Preston, who had been stabbed several times, dead in the driveway and Brown dead inside the home and learned a Lexus SUV belonging to one of the victims was missing from the residence.
While investigators were canvassing the crime scene, Cotton showed up on foot and identified himself as a resident of the home, sheriff’s officials said. He had allegedly ditched the Lexus in the neighborhood.
A motive for the stabbings was unknown.
Pasadena City CollegePresident-Superintendent Erika Endrijonas posted a message on the school’s social media sites.
“Yesterday afternoon our PCC family suffered a terrible loss,” she wrote. “Dr. Carol Brown, who most recently served as a co-coordinator of the Black STEM program, was the victim of a violent crime where she and her brother lost their lives. The attack did not occur on the campus. The incident occurred during a remote conference call with other college employees.”
Endrijonas said counseling services were being made available to help her colleagues cope with the tragedy.
“More information about how we can come together in response to this tragedy and remember Carol will be forthcoming,” she said. “I am completely shocked and horrified by what has happened.”
Cotton, who’s being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, is expected to make his initial appearance at the Pasadena courthouse on Thursday.