LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The man accused of killing a teacher in front of her horrified students in Long Beach pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.
Steven Dwayne Brown, 50, will remain jailed without bail while awaiting his next appearance Dec. 2 in Long Beach Superior Court. Brown is accused in the Oct. 11 killing of Kellye Taylor.
The 53-year-old woman was stabbed in the neck at Orizaba Park at Spaulding Street and Orizaba Avenue while she was watching over her Huntington Academy students, who were playing in the park.
Officials believe the killing stemmed from an ongoing custody dispute involving Taylor and Brown, father of three of the victim’s daughter’s children.
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 a weapon was recovered at the park.
Brown is charged with one count of murder, which includes the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against him.
Citing court records, the Los Angeles Times has reported that Brown blamed Taylor for his loss of custody of his three children, alleging that she told authorities he abused his kids.
Brown sued the Long Beach Police Department, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and several social workers in July, and accused Taylor of being an “informant,” The Times also reported.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)