Testimony by Wilson C. “Toby” Hayes and forensic analysis by Jeremy J. Bauer of Hayes+Associates, Inc., an expert witness and consulting firm in Corvallis, OR, helped a jury in a Los Angeles Criminal Courts courtroom find Cameron Brown guilty of first-degree murder for throwing his daughter from a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff nearly 15 years ago. The jury’s decision came at the end of the third trial in this matter. Juries in the two previous trials found Mr. Brown guilty of his daughter’s death, but deadlocked over whether Mr. Brown was guilty of murder for intentionally throwing her from the cliff or whether he was guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum stated that this third jury was able to recognize that Mr. Brown was motivated by revenge and a deep hatred for the child’s mother and that he plotted to kill the girl to hurt her mother. Mr. Hum said this trial included new evidence discovered by L.A. Sheriff’s Detective, Jeffrey Leslie, including a former co-worker of Mr. Brown who testified that Mr. Brown once said it would be nice if they could just get rid of the children.
The foreman for the jury, George Apodaca, said that it only took one day for the jury to come to an agreement. He said the key to the case was an expert witness (Dr. Hayes, testifying based on the laws of physics and the science of injury biomechanics) who said the girl’s injuries were inconsistent with a slip or trip and instead suggested that she was thrown from the cliff. According to Hayes, the location and severity of the girl’s injuries were consistent with a single, high-speed impact with the cliff after having been launched by her father off the top of Inspiration Point in Palos Verdes, CA. Mr. Brown claimed the girl slipped and fell. However, her body lacked the physical evidence that a slip or fall would have created.
In addition to finding Mr. Brown guilty of first-degree murder, the jury found true the special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and acting for financial gain. Because of the special circumstances, Mr. Brown faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole.