Man Accused of Torturing, Killing Four in Lancaster Home Pleads Not Guilty

An 18-year-old Altadena man accused of killing a woman and her three daughters before setting their Lancaster home on fire pleaded not guilty Wednesday to four counts of murder.

Corey Lynn King is charged with the Sept. 9 slayings of Sonya Durfield Harris, 42, and her children, Ebony Horton, 13; Melina Harris, 11, and Kayla Clark, 9.

Authorities alleged he used a knife to kill the four, set their house ablaze, stole the family car and then abandoned it about a half-mile from the home.

King was arrested shortly after midnight the day after the bodies were found inside the burning home in the 1500 block of East Avenue J-3. He surrendered to sheriff's officials after hearing his name mentioned in connection with the blaze.

The murder counts include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murder and torture of two of the victims, which could make him eligible for the death penalty.

The District Attorney's Office has not yet decided whether to seek a death sentence against King, who is also charged with one count of arson and grand theft auto.

King is due back in Lancaster Superior Court on Dec. 30, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial. He remains jailed without bail.

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