Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trial Begins

Tomorrow, May 30, jury selection will begin in the long-awaited murder trial of California v. Brown. Cameron Brown, former baggage handler and surfer, has been accused of murdering his four-year-old daughter, Lauren Key, by causing her to launch from a 120-foot cliff in Palos Verdes, California. The alleged murder occurred in November 2000 and it has taken over five years to bring it to trial.

Lauren Key would have been 10 years old in August, had her life not been cruelly abbreviated by this incident. According to the grand jury testimony, police reports and news stories about this case, Brown took Lauren to Inspiration Point on a hike where he claims she “slipped and fell” from the treacherous cliff while tossing stones over the edge while her indulgent daddy sat four feet away pointing out landmarks. In Geragos’s 995 Motion to Dismiss, the defense proffered “The Incredible Running Leap Theory” to explain the injuries Lauren suffered that were not consistent with a slip and fall on that rocky terrain.

For the background on this case, please see previous entries in the blog category, “Geragos Watch.” (Or just click on the Permalink of this entry to get all the Brown case entries. The Permalink is the time stamp below each entry.)

Some interesting facts emerged from the recent pretrial hearings, including validation of my hypothesis that Brown was suffering substantial financial problems (“Cameronomics”) that may have given him a motive for eliminating the $900 a month child support obligation for Lauren. The defense intends to dispute the financial motive and offer evidence that Brown was too encumbered by an alleged back injury to hoist a 40-pound girl off a cliff. This is pretty ridiculous, since most of us can easily throw a 40-pound weight without any discomfort. Since Brown is a large, healthy, athletic surfer, hiker and cyclist, and made a living tossing bags in an airport, this will be a tough sell.

Expect the usual “battle of the experts” to support or debunk the scientific evidence employing biomechanics, physics, anatomy and physiology. Let’s just hope Geragos can find a better “expert” than the laughable obstetrician, Dr. March, who bases the rate of human gestation from the date a woman announces the result of a pregnancy test.

As we recommended in our discussions previously, the State wants to take the jury to the scene of the crime, but according to a story in The Breeze, the honorable Judge Arnold has not yet ruled on a potential field trip.

Yours truly and this blog were referred to in the article:

Brown's case has also provided fodder for crime buff bloggers, including an author who closely watches Geragos and reported online about one of his most recent high-profile cases, the Scott Peterson murder trial.

We’ll be following this trial as closely as possible, with reports and observations from friends who will be attending. Stay tuned for updates.

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