Robert Anderson Cotton was caught on Zoom murdering his mother and uncle. On March 22, Cotton allegedly stabbed his mother Carol Brown, 67, and his uncle Kenneth Preston, 69, at the house they shared in Southern California. One of Brown’s work colleagues witnessed the attacks while on a Zoom call with her.
Deputies responded to the call around 2:45 p.m. after Brown’s colleague reported witnessing “a possible kidnapping in progress”. When they arrived, they found Preston in the driveway suffering multiple stab wounds. They discovered Brown’s body inside the home. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
During the investigation, Cotton returned to the residence driving one of the victim’s cars and identified himself as a resident. He was then detained on the scene. Authorities have not identified a motive for the attacks.
Cotton is facing two counts of murder with an allegation of using a knife as a deadly and dangerous weapon and is being held on a bail of $4 million. It is unclear if he has entered a plea at this time.
The mother, Brown, was a faculty member at Pasadena City College for over 14 years and served as co-coordinator of its Black STEM Program initiative. Dionne Shelter, a former student and current employee at PCC, claimed that Brown always made students feel at home. She stated:
“I honestly feel so heartbroken, I feel so sad. 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 PhD or whatever, it’s amazing.”