California Man Found Guilty Of Slitting Teacher's Throat In Front Of Students

| by Emily Smith
Steven Dwayne BrownSteven Dwayne Brown

Steven Dwayne Brown, 52, was found guilty of first-degree murder Jan. 27 after he slit a teacher’s throat in front of her students, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

At the time of her death, 53-year-old Kellye Taylor was working as a teacher at Huntington Academy, a private elementary school in Long Beach, California, KTLA reports. Taylor was also the maternal grandmother of Brown’s children.

Taylor and two other teachers had taken their students to Orizaba Park on Oct. 11, 2013, to play on the playground. While Taylor had her eye on the children, Brown reportedly snuck up behind her and slit her throat. A teacher attempted to aid Taylor, but she eventually died of her injuries.

Brown fled the scene but was later arrested, since the DNA on the knife matched his own, the Long Beach Post notes.

Brown was allegedly in a relationship with Taylor’s daughter, according to KTLA. Earlier in the year, however, Taylor was granted legal custody of the couple’s three children after the pair was arrested in separate incidents. Brown then sued the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and several social workers, saying Taylor had lied to authorities about him abusing his children.

“He did not want his children to be in the care of the victim,” the prosecutor said, according to the Post. “He said he wanted anyone but her to take care of the children.”

Brown had four prior felony convictions between 1986 and 1998, including residential burglary, robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

Brown currently faces a maximum sentence of 86 years to life in state prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 4.

Sources: KTLA, Long Beach Post / Photo Credit: Long Beach Police Department, Family photo via KTLA, LA Times