Dad decapitates 2 of his children, forces siblings to view bodies over 5 days, prosecutors say


Authorities respond to a Lancaster home where two people were found fatally stabbed on Dec. 4, 2020. (Don Luis Meza)

LANCASTER, Calif. (KTLA) — Prosecutors on Wednesday released gruesome new details in the case of a California man accused of decapitating two of his children. 

Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., 34, of Lancaster, 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 is accused of showing 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 were initially called to the home last Friday morning after receiving a report of a gas leak, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department reported. 

That’s when they found the two slain children, who had suffered “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. 

Taylor has not yet pleaded to the charges. His arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday but continued to Dec. 21. 

If convicted of 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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