Authorities have charged a mother with murder in the deaths of her two children, whose bodies were discovered decapitated inside the family’s Lancaster home late last year.
On Monday, September 27, Prosecutors charged Natalie Brothwell, 44, with murder and felony child endangerment for the deaths of her 12-year-old son Maurice Taylor Jr. and 13-year-old daughter Maliaka Taylor. She was arrested from her Tucson home the following day.
Her arrest is connected with the gruesome deaths of her two children, whose decapitated bodies were found on December 4. Authorities said the children were murdered on November 29, and their bodies were kept inside the home for several days.
Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., the children’s father, was charged with murder and child abuse on two counts each in December. Prosecutors say he showed the dead bodies to his surviving children, ages 8 and 9 at the time, and forcefully kept them in their rooms without food.
Taylor is being held in custody after a judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled that he must have a mental competency hearing before the case proceed.
When the bodies were found, the children’s mother was at home and was interrogated by investigators.
Brothwell is being held in a jail in Pima County, Arizona, pending extradition to California.
What is Child Endangerment in California?
While parents are given much latitude regarding raising and caring for their children, there are limitations to what they may and cannot do. Child endangerment offenses are addressed under California Penal Code Section 273a P.C. Child endangerment is an offense of domestic violence.
A prosecutor must be able to determine the following elements to prove that a defendant committed child endangerment:
- While the child was in his or her custody, the defendant knowingly inflicted extreme physical pain or mental suffering on the child, caused such pain or suffering, or allowed such pain/suffering to occur.
- Circumstances or conditions present that may have resulted in severe bodily harm or death.
- The defendant acted in a criminally negligent way.
- The defendant failed to act reasonably when disciplining a child.
Any person under the age of 18 is classified as a child in California. Unjustified physical or mental suffering is described as pain or suffering that is not reasonably required or excessive in the circumstances.
Child Abuse Lawyers
At Khashan Law, we help abused children obtain justice and compensation. We fila e lawsuit for those who failed to protect the child or report suspected child abuse.
If you or your loved one has been a victim of child abuse. Call 951.461.2387 immediately for a free and confidential consultation with our team of experienced child abuse lawyers.