LONG BEACH (CNS) - A 50-year-old man was charged with capital murder today for allegedly stabbing a teacher to death at a Long Beach park in front of her students, in a killing that may have been the result of an ongoing child custody dispute involving the victim's daughter.
Steven Brown was charged with murder for Friday's stabbing death of 53- year-old Kellye Taylor, along with a special-circumstance allegation of lying in wait, according to the District Attorney's Office. He is expected to be arraigned this afternoon at the Long Beach courthouse.
Brown is accused of approaching Taylor at Orizaba Park at Spaulding Street and Orizaba Avenue around 1:30 p.m. Friday while she was watching over her Huntington Academy students, who were on recess in the park. Police said the woman was stabbed in the neck, prompting screams and chaos among her students and other teachers at the park.
Brown, a Long Beach resident, was arrested at the intersection of Anaheim Street and Redondo Avenue, a few blocks from the private Huntington Academy, police said, noting that a weapon was recovered at the park.
Taylor was the grandmother of Brown's four children and had custody of them. Citing court records, the Los Angeles Times reported that Brown blamed Taylor for his loss of custody of the children, contending that she told authorities he abused the five children who had been living with him and Taylor's daughter, Tia Taylor.
Brown sued the Long Beach Police Department, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and several social workers in July, and accused Taylor of being an ``informant,'' The Times reported.
The charges against Brown could carry a possible death sentence, but prosecutors will decide later whether to seek capital punishment, according to the District Attorney's Office.
He remains jailed without bail.