Altadena

Man Charged With Murder in Attack on Family Members That Unfolded on a Zoom Call

Police responded to the Altadena home after a person on a Zoom call with one of the victims reported a crime.

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A 32-year-old man was charged with two counts of murder in an attack on two family members that was partially seen on Zoom by one victim’s work colleagues.

Robert Anderson Cotton, 32 was charged in the March 22 stabbing deaths of his mother and uncle at a house they shared in Altadena.

“This is a horrific case in which the mother’s work colleagues witnessed part of the attack while on a Zoom call and called the authorities,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Unfortunately, by the time police arrived they discovered both victims.”

Arraignment was scheduled for Monday, but continued to April 5. It was not immediately clear whether Cotton has an attorney. 

The victims were identified as Carol Brown, 67, and Kenneth Preston, 69. Their bodies were discovered by police after someone on a Zoom call with Brown reported the attack.

“The person on the Zoom call is the one that called 911... stating they saw what they believed was a kidnapping,” Lt. Barry Hall of the sheriffs Homicide Division said last week.

The LA Sheriff's Office said investigators discovered a car was missing from the residence and, during the investigation, a man drove up in the victim’s car and walked to the edge of the crime scene. The man, later identified as Cotton, told investigators he was a resident of the home, authorities said.

He was arrested at the scene. 

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