California man arrested for decapitating son, 12, and daughter, 13

Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr. is being held for $4.2 million bail while he awaits a Dec. 21 court date.

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 A father in Lancaster, California has been charged with killing his 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

34-year old Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr. was a personal trainer and worked at a physical therapy center. Typically, he worked in Santa Monica but was training via Zoom due to the pandemic. When he didn’t show up for sessions, his clients contacted authorities, per CBS Local.

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On Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was called to the 45000 block of Century Circle in Lancaster after two children were found decapitated and covered with “lacerations and stab wounds.”

 The Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the kids as 12-year-old Maurice Taylor Jr. and 13-year-old Malaka Taylor.

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Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Taylor Sr. has been charged with two counts of murder and child abuse. Allegedly, when authorities arrived, there were two other young boys, ages 8 and 9, in the home at the time. The abuse charges apply to them.

The father is being held for $4.2 million bail while he awaits a Dec. 21 court date. He could face up to 57 years and four months to life if convicted.

Read More: California boy, 11, dies by suicide during virtual class, authorities say

This report comes just days after two teenage brothers were shot and killed in a Sacramento mall. The victims were identified as 19-year-old Dewayne Reed, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and 17-year-old Sa’Quan Reed, who died at a local hospital.

The shooting reportedly happened around 6 p.m. last Friday at Arden Fair Mall. Shoppers evacuated the building shortly after they heard shots fired. Many witnesses stated that they did not see the shooting take place.

“I just see a bunch of people running and so I was wondering what was going on, so I started running,” Esther Diaz, who was at the mall for Black Friday shopping, told KRCA. “It was just very extreme.”

Additional reporting by, Matthew Allen.

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