LANCASTER (CBSLA) — A man was charged Tuesday with murdering his 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter in Lancaster last week.
Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., a 34-year-old personal trainer, has been charged with two felony counts each of murder and child abuse under circumstances likely to cause great bodily injury or death.
Deputies were called out to the home in the 45000 block of Century Circle in Lancaster at about 7:50 a.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Both children had apparent “lacerations and stab wounds,” the department said.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the children as 12-year-old Maurice Taylor Jr. and 13-year-old Malaka Taylor. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that the children had been decapitated.
A woman and two other boys — ages 8 and 9 — at the home were questioned by homicide detectives, according to the sheriff’s department. The child abuse charges pertain to those children.
Taylor worked at a physical therapy center in Santa Monica, but had been conducting training sessions via Zoom. Some of his clients contacted authorities after he failed to show up for scheduled appointments leading up to the discovery of the victims.
Taylor was ordered to be held in lieu of $4.2 million bail while awaiting Dec. 21 in a Lancaster courtroom. He could face up to 57 years and four months to life in state prison if convicted as charged, the district attorney’s office said.
The district attorney’s office will not seek a weapons enhancement charge in accordance with new directives from D.A. George Gascón.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)