Two SCV felony suspects return to court


Two men accused of having committed felonies in the Santa Clarita Valley returned to court on Monday, both receiving future dates to appear before a judge once again.  

Marcel Taylor  

A Canyon Country man accused of killing his child was ordered to return to court for a prelim setting on Aug. 8.  

Marcel Taylor, 26, was charged last year with one count each of murder and assault of a child causing death after his daughter, Jelani, was found unresponsive by paramedics at a home on the 18000 block of Grace Lane in Canyon Country on Sept. 26.   

The baby was transported to the hospital, but ultimately died a few days later at L.A. Children’s Hospital. The cause of death was listed by investigators at the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office as “blunt force trauma.”    

In November, his defense attorneys had filed a request for reduced bail, stating that Taylor had no previous criminal record and had been considered a proud father. Prosecutors alleged that the baby had died from blunt force trauma to the back of her head. That motion was later denied.  

Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami stated, in his written response to defense legal counsel, that Taylor had told deputies he had been alone when watching the child, that he had shaken her and he had killed her.  

A prelim setting is a hearing date to schedule a preliminary hearing — when the evidence is presented to the judge who decides whether the trial will move ahead. 

Jorge Panama 

A Newhall massage therapist accused of multiple sexual assaults saw a continuance of his case in a San Fernando courtroom on Monday.  

Jorge Panama, 56, has been accused by at least a half-dozen women of assaulting them where he worked, at “Massage Plus Healing” on the 22000 block of Lyons Avenue, according to sheriff’s officials.   

Panama was initially arrested on suspicion of an April 2021 allegation involving a former client, who was Panama’s second client to allege an assault.   

Three years ago, a woman reported to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station that Panama had assaulted her at his massage parlor. In the 2018 incident, charges were not filed by L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey due to insufficient evidence, according to detectives. 

Panama is scheduled to return to court on July 7 for a prelim setting.   

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