California man accused of killing mom, uncle during Zoom call

Carol Brown, co-coordinator of Pasadena City College’s Black STEM program had worked there for more than 14 years.

A 32-year-old California man has been accused of killing his mother and uncle during a Zoom call. 

“This is a horrific case,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón wrote in a press statement, “in which the mother’s work colleagues witnessed part of the attack while on a Zoom call and called the authorities.” 

Carol Brown (above), who was allegedly stabbed to death by her son, was a faculty member of Pasadena City College, where she had worked for more than 14 years. (CBS)

“Unfortunately, by the time police arrived,” he said, “they discovered both victims.”

Robert Anderson Cotton allegedly stabbed 67-year-old Carol Brown and 69-year-old Kenneth Wayne Preston to death last Monday and has been charged with two counts of murder with an allegation of using a knife as a deadly and dangerous weapon. 

Brown was a faculty member of Pasadena City College, where she had worked for more than 14 years. She was the co-coordinator of the college’s Black STEM program. 

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Colleagues and students told KCAL her death will leave a “gaping hole” and referred to her as a “rare gem.”

“So many memories about Carol and the amazing work that she did with so many of our students and the incredible spirit she had that was so positive, uplifting and helpful,” said Dr. Cynthia Olivo, vice president of student services.

According to reports, Cotton stabbed his uncle first and then attacked his mother. No motive has been disclosed for the brutal murders. 

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A former student of Brown’s who is also a current employee of Pasadena City College expressed her shock to KCAL.

“I honestly feel so heartbroken, I feel so sad,” said Dionne Shelter. “When you don’t care where someone comes from, what they look like, what they might smell like or whatever, and you still treat them like they are the same as you, a doctor with a Ph.D. or whatever, it’s amazing.”

Cotton is currently being held at Twin Towers Correctional Facility and is set to appear in court on Thursday. 

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