A 50-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday to fatally stabbing a teacher at a Long Beach park in front of her students – a killing that may have been the result of an ongoing child custody dispute involving the victim's daughter.
Steven Dwayne Brown will remain jailed without bail while awaiting his next appearance Dec. 2 in Long Beach Superior Court in connection with 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 on recess in 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 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.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Brown is the biological father of three of the five children who were in Taylor's custody.
Citing court records, the Los Angeles Times reported that Brown blamed Taylor – his girlfriend's mother – for his loss of custody of the children, contending that she told authorities he abused his children.
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.
– City News Service