Friday, August 04, 2006

Closing Arguments - Part I

Craig Hum paced the floor before giving his closing argument. He’d prepared for this moment for nearly six years, and it was finally here. The jury came in at 10:45 am. One of the jurors has to drop out and an alternate will be selected to deliberate in her place; yet, she still came for the closing. These are just two of many examples of people dedicated to seeing justice for Lauren Key.

Hum told the jury about the different degrees of murder; in this case, first degree murder with special circumstances of lying in wait and financial gain. He explained what each of these terms meant. He also talked about second degree murder and its distinctions. (In California, it’s a very small line.)

Hum conceded that it was a “circumstantial evidence” case but reminded the jury that circumstantial evidence is just as valid as direct evidence. The crime scene, Inspiration Point, was their best evidence.

He went on to say the defendant’s entire story was a lie. No way in the world did it happen like the defendant said it did. He said the defendant is lying and innocent people don’t need to lie. It was a lie that Lauren took off ahead of the defendant and the defendant couldn’t keep up. No way in the world.

He reminded the jury that it was just 7 weeks ago that Sarah Key-Marer testified in the trial.

The defense made it sound as though Brown didn’t know Sarah was pregnant. Yet the defendant told his friends and even his ex-girlfriend that he had gotten her pregnant. He tried to get her fired from her job and deported. He took her to see a counselor at Kaiser and they discussed abortion. So how could he say he didn’t know she was pregnant?

He cried to his ex-girlfriend that he wasn’t ready to be a father. He never wanted Lauren. He was vindictive, spiteful, malicious. He hid from Sarah. He moved his boat and changed his phone number frequently and told his work not to take her calls. He knew she was pregnant.

When he finally had to pay nearly $1,000 a month child support, he immediately tried to get it reduced. He heard from some counselor that he could get it lowered if he had more visitation, so he applied again to get it lowered and asked for joint legal custody and 32% visitation---and he had never even met Lauren.

At first, Brown agreed to the adoption and wanted it done within 30 days. Why? In February 2000 it was discussed with Sarah and in March 2000 he married Patty Kaldis. Patty wanted Lauren for herself. He needed to get the adoption done before he married Patty.

When he started having unsupervised visits with Lauren, she came home and said “Papa Cam is going to put you in jail for stealing his money.” He tormented and terrorized Sarah by taking Lauren on his boat and motorcycle, and by putting her suitcase in the middle of the street and demanding that Lauren get it.

The defendant never to this day told Sarah how Lauren died. He refused to tell her.

When the Sheriff’s department wired Sarah in January 2001, he called the airport police on her and wanted Sarah prosecuted. He lied and said she threatened to kill him. He made it up and wanted her prosecuted for his lie. It was on tape—she never threatened him. He made it all up.

In August 2000, just 3 months before Lauren’s death, she refused to go on a hike. She was the only one who refused to go. No way would Lauren have initiated the hike that day at Inspiration Point. The defendant is lying.

And, if he planned on taking Lauren back to his condo that day, why would he have a disposable camera so handy? He hadn’t planned on going to the beach that day, according to his story. Yet, he took 3 pictures of Lauren and offered the camera to the detectives to show them that Lauren was ‘happy’ that day.

He had 3 versions of what happened and what he saw that day. 1) She was just ‘gone’. 2) He heard oh, oh and saw her feet going over the side of the cliff—and 3) he saw her left side falling forward over the cliff.

However, none of his versions fit the scenario of his expert, Dr Yamaguchi, of tumbling. The defendant never saw her tumble.

During the 5 minute 911 call, the defendant never once said “Hurry up!”. Never said “Come on!” Instead, he goes back up over IP and down the other side and what does he do? Takes off all his clothes except his boots and underwear because he saw it on “Baywatch”.

During his entire time with law enforcement he never once blamed himself for Lauren’s death. He blamed Lauren.

He never once said her name when he spent 3 hours with Jeff Leslie. When the cliff was checked there was no evidence of sliding on the edge of Inspiration Point. And a week later, he was ready to move on. Can’t dwell on it.

Both Cameron and Patty Brown immediately went out and got lawyers. The jury also has a note in the evidence they will look at in deliberations from Patty Brown to Cameron.

Patty writes Cameron a note: Seek full legal and physical custody.

And on that very day, when he couldn’t reach her on the phone—it was because she was online researching how to get more custody of Lauren.

When they searched his home they found a cigar box hidden under their bed with 2 cut out photos of Sarah.

The defendant lied to the court about a WC case saying his salary was lowered and it wasn’t.

The defense says the money wasn’t a hardship. That ‘they’ had over $60K in the bank. It was Patty’s money and the majority of it was in retirement accounts (70+%). The defendant had $96.21 in the bank.

The defense brought in the mediator and she said the defendant was angry and frustrated at his mother. She was concerned about his emotional and psychological instability.

Of course he did it.

(To be continued)


loretta said...

All credit goes to CountryGirl for this entry. There is more to come.

Ronni said...

Wow! CG, do you take shorthand? This is fantastic! I feel that I'm right there!

That poor little girl. I'm thinking that Sarah never realized such a monster could exist, let alone be the father of her child.

Charlie said...

Thank you so much, CG.

I'm sure your caring concern and interest in the case is appreciated by the family and friends of little Lauren.

Your insight is also appreciated by the rest of us who have followed this case. I look forward to reading the rest. Again, thank you!

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Lauren's mom and her family.Such a beautiful child. Only a truly evil person can do that to a child. May he rot in prison forever. The prosecution did an excellent job.
Many thanks to Loretta and CG for all their hard work.

Ronni said...

Was bringing in the mediator supposed to be leading to an insanity defense? If so, shouldn't the idea have been developed before?

CountryGirl said...

I asked for a photo of Lauren yesterday. I couldn't bear to use one that CB took of her.

She never looked happy in any of them contrary to what Geragos told the jury.

Such a beautiful Angel. Your justice is coming Lauren!

Lisa said...

CG, I haven't been able to follow this as closely as I would have liked so I very much appreicate the work you and Loretta have done keeping us updated.

CG, thank you for being our eyes and ears.

My heart goes out to Sarah and her family.

loretta said...

I find it interesting now to look back and recall what Kaldis was saying about how Cam and Patty were going after custody.

It had NEVER been filed. She was considering it, but it had never been actively sought yet. I think that's what set Cam off - he knew she was going to go after that and never leave him alone.

Cam killed Lauren to get rid of Patty's nagging almost as much as he killed her to spite Sarah and have the financial burden lifted.

No court in the world would have given Brown and Patty custody of Lauren. They'd be lucky to get a shared parenting agreement. They were so inept and obtuse.

I'll bet they never even consulted a lawyer. Any lawyer worth his/her salt would have said, "No way!"

CountryGirl said...

Not to mention his own mother testified that he lacked parenting skills. Isn't that what set him off at Sarah? When she filed that with the court? He accused her of being "just like his mother! and said he would get her for that." Well, he did.

His own mother substantiated Sarah's testimony. Let's hope the jury remembers the rest of his threat.

I have faith in this jury.

TheVillageWench said...

To each and every "Fit" who has extended a selfless, loving hand of support to this bereaved family I'd like to say: It is an honor to know you.
I hope the peace and joy remaining in their lives will help ease the pain.

"Lukiss" said...

For me, I havent followed the case as closely as you all might have. But I have watched and listened to its effects on my mother. I think anyone who is a mother hurts soo much for Sarah and her mother, her husband, her friends and her family.

I wanted to just say mom, that I am really proud of ther person that you are, that you care so much in a world like this that we live in, and that you have so much love, drive, and passion about Lauren and her right to justice.

You are my hero and inspiration daily, that you go after what you beleive in.
Justice and truth. That you are not afraid to stand up and stand tall...
You really amaze me with every new year that I have on this earth with you...
I love you, and again, am SOOO proud of you. I am the mom that I am today, the one that you are so proud of because of who you are.
And I met Sarah yesterday informally, and I have to say I see her beauty, strength, and integrity that makes me proud to be a the class that I am in, a mother and a woman.
My thoughts and prayers are also with Sarah and Lauren and the family.

loretta said...

Wider media coverage:


Thanks to CG for that link.

yes, she drives the bus, too.

Charlie said...


What a beautiful tribute to your mother.

If you can't already tell, we think she's pretty special too!

tamiann said...

Thank you for the info CG

Such a lovely photo of Lauren - those big eyes and ringlets!

May she rest in peace and may her mother find comfort knowing she did everything in her power to see to it that justice is served.

I trust the jury will find Cameron Brown Guilty of first degree murder and will be sentenced to LWOP.

Anonymous said...

Count me among those who are sure he's guilty. Why? Well, I'm personally acquainted with Cam through a mutual friend and I met Sarah once - when she was pregnant with Lauren. Cam's hostility to her was scary even then.

On other occasions I've seen Cam lose his temper and start fights. I've heard him bitch and moan about missing out on chances to surf because of normal adult responsibilities.

I hope he eventually realizes just what he did that day, that would be the one sufficient punishment.

Barbara said...

I have my grandson over today. He's five now so he's a little bit older than Lauren was at the time. But I still think about everything that was taken from her loved ones when Cam killed her. William is losing his teeth. We asked him tonight how much he got from the tooth fairy and he said $3. (Talk about inflation! When did that happen??)

He's getting ready to start kindergarten in the fall and he's so excited! I think riding the bus is his favorite part. He likes to play computer games and go swimming. (Somehow I became a sea monster until I could tag him. The rules kept changing and everything in the pool became "base" for him. But it was good exercise.)

His mom and dad aren't together either. When my daughter was pregnant my grandson's father wanted her to get an abortion. She refused and he dumped her. We told her that we would do it without him. He pays almost nothing in child support and I'm not willing to have her push it for the very reasons that ended this child's life. I'm more interested in him having a loving relationship with his father than having fighting over money. But that's this situation. Not everyone has that luxury.

Anyway, I think about Lauren and Sarah and all her family a lot. This didn't have to happen. Cameron is evil and will suffer far more than he made that child suffer. Peace and prayers to everyone who loves Lauren.

Ronni said...

Barbara, I know exactly how you feel, but it really bothers me that sperm donors are getting away with not paying support because we are afraid they will kill the baby or the mother, or both.

It's not right.

loretta said...

Please see CG's excellent report in the new entry above ^^^