ALTADENA (CBSLA) — A 32-year-old Altadena man is accused of fatally
stabbing his mother and uncle in a vicious attack at their Altadena home.

Dr. Carol Brown, 67, and her 69-year-old brother, Kenneth Wayne Preston, were fatally stabbed Monday at Brown’s Altadena home. (Credit: Pasadena Community College)

One of the victims was Dr. Carol Brown, a beloved longtime Pasadena City College employee.

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“So many memories about Carol and the amazing work that she did with so many of our students and the incredible spirit she had that was so positive, uplifting and helpful,” Dr. Cynthia Olivo, vice president of student services, said.

According to the college, Brown worked at the school for about two decades, most recently as the co-coordinator of its Black STEM Program.

The 67-year-old and her 69-year-old brother, Kenneth Wayne Preston, were fatally stabbed Monday at Brown’s Altadena home.

PCC said Brown was on a Zoom call with a colleague at the time of the stabbing and the colleague called police.

“This is very disturbing,” a neighbor said. “We had to come by this way just to look. It’s unbelievable.”

According to police, Preston was stabbed first and was found in the driveway of the home. Brown was found dead inside.

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Robert Cotton, 32, was arrested on suspicion of murder. According to longtime family friends, Cotton is Brown’s oldest son. He was jailed Tuesday on $2 million bail.

“I don’t know what to say about him, because I don’t know him, but I know her and she’s such a good person,” Denise Allin-Smith, a family friend, said. “She’s a really good person, and she’s always helping other people.”

Dionne Shelter, a former student and current employee at the college said Brown was a rare gem and made struggling students feel like they belonged.

“I honestly feel so heartbroken, I feel so sad,” she said. “When you don’t care where someone comes from, what they look like, what they might smell like or whatever, and you still treat them like they are the same as you, a doctor with a PhD or whatever, it’s amazing.”

Faculty and students said they didn’t know how they were going to replace the gaping hole left behind by Brown’s death.

Police said they still did not have a motive in the attack.

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Cotton is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles and is expected to make his initial appearance at the Pasadena courthouse on Thursday.