A father of four was charged Wednesday with two counts each of murder and child abuse for allegedly murdering his two eldest children and forcing his other two kids to look at their dead bodies for nearly a week, the Los Angeles Timesreports.
The grisly discovery was made last Friday when firefighters arrived at his Lancaster home in response to a call about a possible gas leak. Prosecutors allege Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., 34, fatally stabbed his 13-year-old daughter Maliaka and 12-year-old son Maurice Jr. on Nov. 29. The surviving children, ages 9 and 8, were shown their siblings' bodies for five days, and kept in their own rooms without food.
Following his arrest, the Homicide Bureau of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department have questioned his youngest kids, as well as their mother, who was inside the home at the time, but isn't considered a suspect. Taylor worked as a personal trainer at physical therapy center in Santa Monica. His clients, who had been trained by him via Zoom due to the pandemic, contacted authorities when he couldn't be reached for their scheduled appointments.
Taylor was initially being held in custody in lieu of a $2 million bail, but it was increased to $4.2 million on Tuesday. His arraignment will take place on Dec. 21. He faces 57 years to life in prison, if convicted.