Parents plead not guilty to charges they decapitated two of their four children

Lancaster, California: Initially only the father was arrested for the decapitation of two of four children in a Lancaster, California home in December, 2020.


Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., now 35, was charged with two counts each of murder and child abuse.


It is believed that the two children, identified as 13-year-old Maliaka Taylor and 12-year-old Maurice Taylor Jr., were fatally stabbed on November 29, 2020, and that their bodies were shown to their younger, surviving siblings, identified as 8 and 9-year-old boys.


It was not until September 29, 2021 that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced that it was also arresting Natalie Sumiko Brothwell for the murders. She was taken into custody at her home in Tucson, Arizona.


Brothwell, now 45, was also charged with two counts each of murder and child abuse.


On Wednesday, February 2, both entered pleas of not guilty to the charges against them.


Both remain in custody in lieu of $4.2 million bail and are scheduled to be back in court on February 15, 2022.


Previously when discussing the case, the District Attorney's Office indicated that Taylor could face a maximum sentence of up to 57 years and 4 months if convicted as charged. They have not indicated whether they intend to seek the same possible sentence against Brothwell.