|Corey Lynn King|
A man was arrested, charged and convicted of murder after killing a mother and her three young daughters before setting them on fire, prosecutors in California said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that the 24-year-old man was sentenced to death for killing the woman and her three young daughters and then setting their Lancaster home on fire.
Robert Sherwood, Assistant Head Deputy of the Antelope Valley Branch, said a jury recommended the
death penalty for Corey Lynn King after finding him guilty of four counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and torture for three of the victims.
King also was found guilty of one count each of arson of an inhabited structure and grand theft auto.
The bodies of Sonya Durfield Harris, 43, and her three young daughters, Ebony Horton, 14; Melina Harris, 12; and Kayla Clark, 9, were discovered in their Avenue J-3 home by firefighters.
King had poured gasoline over the victims and throughout the house and then set the bodies and home on fire, the prosecutor said.
Before setting the fire, the defendant stabbed Harris and her 14-year-old daughter more than 50 times.
The 12-year-old victim also was stabbed and additionally beaten and stomped to death. Nine-year-old Kayla was strangled by King, according to evidence presented at trial.
During the penalty phase of the trial the jury heard evidence that King committed another murder in Altadena a few months before the Lancaster killings.
In that case, King allegedly bludgeoned a 90-year-old woman to death and then set her house on fire, the prosecutor added.