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Man Convicted Of Throwing His 4-Year-Old Off A Cliff To Avoid Child Support

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A jury found a man guilty of first-degree murder for throwing his 4-year-old daughter off a cliff nearly 15 years ago. This was the third trial for Cameron John Brown, 53, a baggage handler—two previous juries had deadlocked.In November 2000, Brown took his daughter Lauren Sarene Key on a hike in Rancho Palos Verdes. Lauren tumbled 120 feet to her death from a cliff at Inspiration Point. Brown maintained that he dearly loved his daughter and that she slipped in a tragic accident. The defense argued that he should be convicted of manslaughter, at most. Prosecutors argued—successfully in this final trial—that Brown was a cold-hearted man who never wanted his child and who sought revenge against her mother when she tried to get him to pay child support. They argued that evidence showed Lauren didn't trip but was thrown off the cliff, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Brown previously tried to convince Lauren's mother to have an abortion. After his daughter was born, he didn't show interest in her until her mother sought child support three years after her birth. He also tried to get her deported.

Sarah Key-Marer, Lauren's mother, testified that years earlier he had pointed to a cliff and told her that two children had died there a week or two earlier. She said, "It upset me ... I was very distraught. It stuck in my mind."

Brown set up a few websites to show just how much he loved his daughter.

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The two previous juries deadlocked over whether to convict him of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter. City News Service reports that Brown had no reaction to the verdict. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is set for June 19.