LANCASTER, Calif (KTLA) – Prosecutors released gruesome new details in the case of a California father accused of decapitating two of his teen children as they announced charges in the case on Wednesday.
Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., 34, was charged with two counts each of murder and child abuse, according to a Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office news release.
Taylor is suspected of fatally stabbing two of his children, a 12-year-old son identified as Maurice T. and a 13-year-old daughter identified as Maliaka T., on Nov. 29, prosecutors said.
He’s also accused of abusing his two other children, 8- and 9-year-old boys.
Taylor allegedly showed his youngest sons the bodies of their decapitated siblings sometime in the five-day period between when they were killed and when they were discovered dead. For several days, the boys were forced to stay in their bedrooms, where they did not receive any food, prosecutors said.
Deputies originally responded to the home after a gas leak was reported.
That’s when they found the two slain children, suffering “some type of a sharp trauma,” according to sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean. The trauma was from “either a stabbing or slicing device,” he said.
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris told the Los Angeles Times that both victims were decapitated, calling the incident “pretty brutal.”
Homicide investigators questioned a man, woman and two other children found in the home, and Taylor was arrested later that day.
Taylor has not yet pleaded to the charges. His arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday but continued to Dec. 21.
If convicted on the charges, he faces a maximum sentence of at least 57 years to life in prison, the release stated. Taylor is being held on $4.2 million bail.
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