A couple charged with murdering their two older children by decapitating them have pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse.
On Wednesday, Maurice Jewel Taylor, Sr., 35, and Natalie Sumiko Brothwell, 45, pleaded not guilty to murder in a Los Angeles courtroom. Taylor and Brothwell were accused of murdering Maurice, Jr., 12, and Maliaka, 13.
The news outlet reported that the parents stabbed the children to death inside their Lancaster, California home on November 29, 2020. After they murdered Maurice and Maliaka, Taylor and Brothwell demanded that the younger siblings look at their deceased brother and sister. The pair also withheld food from the frightened children and forced them to stay in a bedroom for several days.
When authorities arrived at the home in early December, the bodies were still inside the house.
Taylor, Sr., was originally arrested in December 2020 and Brothwell was arrested at her home in Tucson, Arizona, in September 2021. Not only were the couple charged with murder, but they also were indicted on two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances likely to cause great bodily harm or death with reference to their then eight and nine-year-old sons.
Questions about Taylor’s mental health arose in 2020, preventing the case from moving forward. Last year, court proceedings were reinstated.
There is no information concerning Brothwell’s job, but FOX11 reported that Taylor worked as a physical therapist. Due to the pandemic, he had been doing virtual sessions, and his clients became concerned and reached out to the police after he failed to report to work.
The pair is currently incarcerated and has a $4.2 million bail. On February 15, Brothwell and Taylor are scheduled to appear in a California court.
If Taylor is convicted of decapitating his children, he can spend the rest of his life behind bars. It has not been determined if Brothwell faces the same fate.