Jury awards $30M to mother of boy beaten to death by former LAUSD employee

Sid Garcia Image
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Jury awards $30M to mother of 6-year-old boy beaten to death in 2019
A jury awarded $30 million to the mother of a 6-year-old boy who was beaten to death by a former LAUSD employee in 2019.

DOWNEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A jury awarded $30 million to the mother of a 6-year-old boy who was beaten to death by a former LAUSD employee in 2019.

Dayvon Taylor was killed the day after Christmas, beaten to death by Tyler D'Shaun Martin Brand of Downey.

A jury ruled earlier this month that the school district was mostly at fault and awarded $30 million to the boy's mother, Kenya Taylor.

Brand was an after-school program coach at Normandie Avenue Elementary School and became a family friend. When he was charged, prosecutors said Dayvon was in Brand's apartment under the suspect's care over the holiday break. That's when Brand severely beat the young boy, according to attorneys.

According to the family attorney, Brand would solicit parents at the school to let him babysit their children at his Downey apartment, something the district does not allow.

"He, for some reason or another punched him in the chest with a closed fist some 10 to 13 times, and the blunt force trauma that he received from that attack resulted in his death," said Steve Vartazarian, the family's attorney.

Downey man charged in fatal beating of 6-year-old boy, held on $2M bail

A 23-year-old Downey man is being held on $2 million bail after he was charged in the fatal beating of a 6-year-old boy who was in his care.

Taylor left her son with Brand that day because she was moving into her new home in Long Beach. Brand was charged with murder and assault on a child causing death.

Following the death of her son, Taylor sued the Los Angeles Unified School District, accusing the district of negligently hiring Brand.

"We hope that this verdict sends a message to LAUSD, and that message is: When we drop off our kids at your schools and drive away... and leave them there, we trust that they're going to be safe," Vartazarian said.

In a written statement to Eyewitness News, LAUSD says in part:

"While this tragedy happened off campus and during a holiday break, the safety and well being of all students remains Los Angeles Unified's top priority. Regarding the jury verdict in this legal matter, Los Angeles Unified intends to consider all available options."

Last year, Brand pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the case. He's now serving a 15 years to life sentence in state prison.

At a press conference Tuesday morning where they announced the record jury verdict, Taylor remembered her son.

"My son did not deserve to die at all. He was really happy, joyful, helpful, respectful," she said.

LAUSD maintained it should not be responsible for a murder that occurred on private property and outside of school hours.

The district has also said it was unaware Brand had continued contact with Dayvon and his mother after he transferred from Normandie and was no longer employed by the school district.