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Jury finds Randy Taylor guilty of Alexis Murphy’s murder

NELSON COUNTY, VA (WTVR) — A jury has found Randy Allen Taylor guilty of first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in connection with the disappearance of missing Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy.

CBS 6 reporter St. George said some jurors cried as the verdict was read around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

After the verdict, the sentencing phase of the trial immediately began. At that point, Taylor voluntarily left the courtroom.

The commonwealths’ attorney, who argued that Taylor should receive life in prison, called Alexis Murphy’s mother to testify.

Laura Murphy took the stand and talked about how difficult this year has been for her family. She cried as she said Alexis should have graduated from Nelson County High School and received her diploma on May 17.

The jury recommended life sentences on both counts. A judge will formally sentence Taylor at a later date.

Taylor faced anywhere from 40 years behind bars to life in prison for the crimes.

After sentencing, the commonwealth’s attorney and Murphy’s family addressed the media outside the courthouse.

“It doesn’t bring us the closure that we need, but it goes a long way in helping us,” Murphy’s family said.

When asked if they believed Taylor would confess to what he did with Alexis’ body, family members said they prayed he would, but seriously doubted it would happen.

The family thanked law enforcement, the commonwealth attorney’s office and the community — their extended family — for offering support after Alexis disappeared.

After just five days, the prosecution and defense rested their cases on Wednesday.

The defense did so after just an hour of testimony and a handful of witnesses, underscoring the point that they believe the prosecution never proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Taylor kidnapped and killed 17-year-old Alexis Murphy.

Murphy vanished from Nelson County in August 2013.

Over the course of the trial the defense noted that Murphy’s body was never found and there is no evidence that she is dead.

The prosecution countered by arguing that a blood stained shirt of Taylor’s had Murphy’s DNA on it, as well as testimony from Taylor that he was with her the day she disappeared.

As for why the defense rested so quickly, legal analyst Todd Stone hinted it could be deliberate.

“There might be indication from defense that they don’t think the prosecution case is very strong,” Stone said.

As for the Murphy family, they described Wednesday as the most challenging day of court yet.

“It is difficult to see the evidence and hear the testimony and listen to people talk about your child being murdered,” Trina Murphy, the aunt of Alexis Murphy, told reporters.

Murphy said she’ll be back at Nelson County’s Courthouse Thursday, at 9:30 a.m., as the jury resumes deliberations.

“It just feels the last 10 months have come to this moment,” Trina Murphy said.

Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys remain under a gag order by the judge.

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89 comments

  • athynz

    Thus far all of the evidence that was released to the public that supports the prosecution has been entirely circumstantial.

      • athynz

        The evidence is circumstantial. He was once labeled as a person of interest in a similar case and there were no facts to tie him to that crime. There is evidence that Murphy was at his place but there were no signs of a struggle or foul play. Her body – if she is even dead – has not been found. From what I recall of the case those were the crucial bits of evidence released to the public. Even if the police have a “smoking gun” that was not released as public knowledge my point stands.

        Done.

      • athynz

        Actually old boy I did by listing the evidence released to the public during the investigation. However at the time you posted it was a moot point as Taylor was found guilty.

    • Mo Fiscal conservatism

      Athynz which Law school did you attend?

      And don’t tell me “drr, it’s common sense” because that is a mistake that most young lawyers make. Although I think it’s very unlikely that you went to any graduate school. College would shock me in your case.

      • manalishi

        Mo Ally Mcbeal, Don’t push that VSU style condescension here. Nobody cares what tricks you had to turn for your post grad stupor.

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        manalishi, it sounds like you have a little bitterness in your post towards the educated. See in the world there are actually people who go to school and learn the things you watch on Law and Order and Scrubs. Not just screaming an opinion they created on facebook.

        The VSU statement sounds a little racist too. Which gives me the impression that you are white trash. Probably grew up/live in a tailor and run your mouth about anyone who actually made it. Is the internet a part of your welfare? (I’m white by the way. Just not trash)

      • manalishi

        Quite the contrary on all accounts there Mo nique. I have yet to a see a statement from you that was correct. Youll make a fine woman when you grow up there David.

      • athynz

        Mo! Where you been? So when are we gonna have that chat about the Shockoe Bottom park?

        So which law school did YOU attend? College? Post grad?

        The evidence is circumstantial. He was once labeled as a person of interest in a similar case and there were no facts to tie him to that crime. There is evidence that Murphy was at his place but there were no signs of a struggle or foul play. Her body – if she is even dead – has not been found. From what I recall of the case those were the crucial bits of evidence released to the public. Even if the police have a “smoking gun” that was not released as public knowledge my point stands.

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        Athynz, you never answered the question! Are you ashamed of your education? There’s nothing wrong with leaving it in high school. We need ditch diggers too!!
        To answer your question I graduated UR Law. UVA undergrad.
        You’re taking what you read on a website as the “facts of the case” and trust me there’s more to it.
        But whatever gets your rocks off I guess.

      • manalishi

        So Mo ron, How did you achieve all those credentials sitting in yo mama’s basement eating cheetos? Or is UR doing correspondence courses these days?

      • athynz

        Then Mo enlighten me as the information released to the public is all I have to go on here. If there is something else then spill it or don’t mention it.

        And no I’m not a lawyer or pretend to be. Then again I seriously doubt you are either.

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        I guess this is the page for underachievers like Athynz play lawyer. then wet the bed when a real one comes on here and calls them out.

      • athynz

        “Mo Fiscal conservatism
        May 9, 2014 at 10:53 am
        I guess this is the page for underachievers like Athynz play lawyer. then wet the bed when a real one comes on here and calls them out.”

        Let me know when a real lawyer comes here.

    • BO

      I agree,they have no clue what factually happened and are trying to sell the jury a tale that they don’t even know if its true.cracker jack box law degrees at work.

      • athynz

        Again circumstantial. Damning yes but circumstantial. All they said is that there was her blood on the shirt – but apparently not enough to prove that she died at his hands.

      • sw

        Neko they said her dna was on the shirt not her blood. That is a big difference. It could have been sweat, hair, skin, etc. Doesn’t mean she was hurt. His blood on the shirt (which no one has seen I might add) could have already been on the shirt when he admittedly was with her or he got on the shirt after they were together. He didn’t look like the type who changed his clothes much. Please don’t mix up the facts we do have.

    • Scott

      the PHYSICAL EVIDENCE presented at trial was her hair extensions were removed with force, her fingernails were broken off of her fingers, her nose ring was torn out, her blood was identified on TAYLORS shirt, same shirt he was wearing the night of her abduction, and her cell phone was found 100 feet from his camper. Taylor lied to the investigators about ever meeting/knowing her until they showed evidence placing her inside his camper. He informed the investigators he could not remember, the night of her abduction, where he was from 7 pm until the next morning and her car was located less than a mile from a restaurant the same night he had to take a cab home from that location. The law does not require a body for a homicide conviction but it does require common sense to work…DNA evidence is NEVER circumstantial evidence so please understand the difference before posting next time…

      • sw

        I’m curious Scott where exactly did you find out about all the evidence they had against him. I didn’t see it published anywhere and am curious.

      • athynz

        Reading comprehension is critical. You say this evidence was released at the trial – and IIRC correctly none of that was released prior to the trial. What was released was – as I indicated – circumstantial. Which is obviously a moot point as he was found guilty. Nice timing with the comment BTW.

      • Dustin Cavanaugh

        And none of the evidence implicates much more than she bled on him. Did you know “snitch and ill kill you” types still exist? That’s why it’s important to get better evidence than that. When talking about a man’s life it’s important you KNOW FOR SURE he is guilty before making assumptions. While not baseless they cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    • jlashae

      You would be surprised how many cases are won with all circumstantial eveidence, circumstantial evidence in many cases is just as if not more important than direct, and it all depends on what the circumstantial eveidence is, but hey anytime you have someone on camera with the victim and they’re last seen with that person and the victims blood is found soaked into that person’s shirt with that persons DNA on it as well , yeah they’re pretty much done for! I’m happy with this outcome.. Ray Charles could see this creep was guilty.. so my question is what’s your point?!

      • Dustin Cavanaugh

        If you have to ask my point after I have already made it then I suggest a few English courses. Let me lay it down though again. my point is this is his life. If he is innocent you just defended the ruining of an innocent man’s life and practically ending it. Meanwhile I have seen many convicted murderers get 10-15 years because they have lots of drug money. Also, no I wouldn’t be surprised how many cases are won with circumstantial evidence. I know. I think it’s ridiculous that you can receive high sentences with circumstantial evidence. Also until you have a body and DNA evidence then you can’t see anything. You can only assume.

  • Blackbeered

    Putting aside there’s no proof there’s been a murder, the defendent has a credible story / alibi.

    Combine those two points with the fact the prosecutors rail-roaded this guy 10 years ago on charges latter proven to be unfounded and of which he was exonerated [the reason for the prosecution's vendetta] and there’s no way an impartial jury can convict … and, if it does, that a motion by the defense to vacate the conviction wouldn’t be immediately granted by the judge.

    • Mo Fiscal conservatism

      Oh, another one. Where did you get your law degree? It sound like you just watch a lot of Law and Order and want to pretend.

      • Chad

        Why does everyone have to have a law degree to state their opinion? You don’t even comment on the article itself; all you do is criticize the other people commenting on it. I know, that’s what I am doing now, but you seem to have a problem with everyone.

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        I just like to point out when people have strong, condescending opinions about things they know nothing about. Why do you care?

      • athynz

        “Mo Fiscal conservatism
        May 8, 2014 at 11:02 am I just like to point out when people have strong, condescending opinions about things they know nothing about. Why do you care?”

        Why do YOU care Mo? And who are you to come on here and tell people in your own condescending manner what they do not know?

      • athynz

        It sounds like you are one of those who want this guy to be guilty because it’s expedient, because he’s been a suspect (exonerated) in a similar case prior to this, and because he’s an ugly white dude – as people who commented on this case when it first made news commented.

        Tell me Mo, do YOU and David have any proof that Taylor did indeed kill or kidnap Murphy?

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        Chad you can post your opinion anywhere you want. I’m just pointing out how uneducated you sound to educated people.

      • Joe Miller

        You come across as not educated at all, just some looser wanna be that has some sick Napoleon complex, trying to look smart and educated yet miserably failing.. you should move along little troll

    • Scott

      his alibi to investigators was he could not remember where he was from 7 pm, the night of her abduction, until the next morning. Later his attorney provided the mysterious “black guy” defense. Really credible alibi…

  • manalishi

    Public info was pretty lame. It seems as if the prosecutions evidence presentation was rather short, as well as the defense rebuttal. Which would make sense to pass this to the jury so quick.

  • manalishi

    Ok Mo Howard, so you confess to being reading of comprehension impaired. Facts are (read your own post), You were not only condescending first, but twice.

    • Mo Fiscal conservatism

      It’s okay. Manalishi is upset because community college didn’t prepare him/her for life outside his/her parent’s house. So he/she comes on these pages and corrects people’s grammar/spelling errors to try and appear less trailer trashy.
      He/she goes on these condescending rants about things he/she saw on tv. I really believe if they forced trailer trashy mothers into abortion, we wouldn’t have to deal with this and shows like Honey Boo Boo. When reading the posts from them and Athynz I get a picture of Honey Boo Boo’s mother typing it.

      • athynz

        You have this odd fascination with honey boo-boo’s mother. Personally I find her and the whole show repugnant but whatever gets your rocks off Mo. Manalishi didn’t correct your spelling or grammar but he correctly pointed out your lack of reading comprehension. He pointed out that you call out people for being condescending and yet do the very same thing. Where I’m from they call that hypocrisy.

        Funny, I’m noticing your posts remind me very strongly of a person who went by the name Kathryn Leighton… she also claimed she was educated and was condescending while accusing others of being unintelligent and condescending. Interesting. Then again anyone can be anything on the internet – one can even be a UR law grad/ UVA postgrad by the name of Mo.

  • Tash

    guess all yall can shut up since he was found GUILTY…guess there WAS enough “circumstantial” evidence… ;-)

    • athynz

      Indeed. While I still personally do not feel he is guilty based on what the public was told a jury of his peers found him guilty so there it is. Since they found him guilty I hope he gets what is coming to him and I hope that the jury made the right call.

    • sw

      That’s funny Tash since Casey Anthony was aquitted with more evidence than they had on this guy. Jury has spoken but jury’s don’t always get it right, ie. O.J. Simpson.

  • Tonya

    Boyalishi your meth head momma don’t get paid at all…. punk a**. Tasha u are absolutely right!!!.

  • Working Man

    The hard evidence to support murder just isn’t there, not even a bit. Clint Eastwood made a movie about this exact type of thing — “Hang ‘em High”. No (mentally) developed locality in the U.S. would’ve even charged someone of murder with that gaping lack of evidence.

    I think they did this for ‘race relations’, or something along those lines.

  • travis

    one question remains,where LATOSHA?I will cover for her-HE DONR THIS CAUSE SHE BLACKS AND WITES ALWAYS BE KILLN AFRICAN AMERICANS.thank you

  • ce540

    I would hope that someone who has gone to UVA and UR Law would not be so condescending as to argue on a news article thread the way Mo has here. Being a lawyer you deal with many people that are uneducated and I would hope you do not deal with them with such an uncouth mannor.

  • Good kid

    I know there’s evidence he did the crime alone, but I think he knows at least one of the guys who did the Harrington murder, with his New Jersey/classic cars buddies. He also knows where the bodies of Alexis, Samantha, and maybe others are located. How can we make it worth his while to give us this information. He’s not getting out until he’s dead, so maybe his life could be easier on the inside if he helps.

  • Working Man

    Don’t be defensive, Athynz & manalishi. Here’s how you slap someone like Mo around:

    Hey Mo: where did the *jurors* get their law degree from? They’re the ones who pulled the rope. Don’t forget the lack of evidence too while you’re scratching your little beanie thinking about it. :)

    • Scott

      “lack of evidence” ?? the evidence was overwhelmingly hence why the jury convicted and the judge accepted the verdict. Read my earlier posting about just some of the evidence. Keep in mind I only listed some of physical evidence in order to correct a incorrect/misguided earlier posting. There was also digital and telephonic evidence utilized and introduced during trial which I did not go into earlier on my initial posting. Taylor did not have and could not provide an alibi because he was busy murdering then disposing of the victims body.

      • Belsma

        I concur..all one has to do is google the suspects name and the victims name. There are at least a half a dozen news stations reporting on this and some have more info than others. Much more info has come out since this has played out in court. I just really hope RAT gives the family the location of Alexis and possibly Samantha if he had something to do with her as well. My baby just turned 14 and maybe my emotions take control of me with these cases, Natalie Holloway, Morgan Harrington, Taylor Behl, Alexis and so on, however, emotions aside RAT lied constantly and there was evidence on his property.

  • Belsma

    I think there was enough evidence. Why would he lie and have selective memory if he did not have anything to hide? All of his stories have holes in them. If some of you think he is innocent then write to The Innocence Project and see if you can get him exonerated.

    • Working Man

      Belsma, a person can tell lies ’til the cows come home. Still doesn’t prove a murder was committed. Unless there’s actual evidence showing someone’s been killed.

      • Belsma

        A 17 YO girl does not just drop off the face of the earth..unless of course, she is most likely murdered. Her DNA, via blood and hair was found in his residence and on his clothing. Why lie until the cows come home if you have nothing to hide? RAT has been an “victim” of wrongful “accusations” before, for at least a decade this guy has been on the radar, including up in Jersey. Everyone said to wait for a fair trial..we did and this is the conclusion. Like I said..contact the group that might can exonerate him if you think he is innocent.

  • Blackbeered

    The verdict shows why we need professional juries composed of intelligent people.

    When this verdict get thrown out on appeal, as I’m sure it will, hopefully, this time, the prosecutors will go to jail.

    • Scott

      @ blackbeered…what part of the physical evidence is still confusing you ? I have tried to explain only part of what was introduced at trial. If you are going to ignore all of the evidence then just simply say so… after reviewing the overwhelming evidence and the fact Taylor could not provide an alibi the jury reached the only logical conclusion. Once again the state and/or federal government laws are very clear you DO NOT need a body to obtain a homicide conviction. And I did not even go into the digital or telephonic evidence which was utilized to convict him. You see Taylor provided approximately 4-5 versions of what happened and the juries were presented with evidence which clearly proved those 4-5 versions were lies…. oh yea one more thing… prosecutors cannot be prosecuted unless they intentionally falsify evidence or commit a discovery violation on purpose….

  • Tash

    yall do realize its a gag on the case though right?? so youre not going to know all the “evidence”….im confused as to why some people on this post think that the only evidence the jury had to convict was what we knew from reading this article…if u have been following the case you would know that everything wasnt released to the public….but ehhhhhh okay.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      Of course. Best way to get the story straight, and get rid of anyone going against their agenda. Why would you need a gag order after he has been found guilty already? In case he appeals? Either way they are hanging him without cause. You know why you don’t see a gag order in every case like this? For good reason. Someone is up to no good.

      • Belsma

        Dustin, we all know you have a beef with LE, but sometimes they and jurors get something right.

      • Dustin Cavanaugh

        The fact you say “sometimes” indicates you admit their could be a margin of error as previously done. I never said he was innocent. Keep that in mind.

  • SEE

    Think when Forces seek to target, attack, and destroy their intended prey, they do it, systematically, within all activated forces, and nothing else matters. If it also targets agendas of favorites, then all the better., .

  • Scott

    @ Athynz…I have been in LE for 26 years and responded to her abduction day one. I interviewed Taylor and numerous others, including members of Taylor’s family. He lied to us from day one telling us he simply could not remember what he was doing after 7 pm the evening she disappeared until the next morning. Then all of a sudden his memory came back to him. I have already mentioned the physical evidence, digital, and telephonic evidence. He provided the investigators several versions during his statement all of which he recanted when presented with evidence which disputed each of his versions. It was not until later his defense attorney provided the “black guy” did it defense. Also he was never charged with Samantha Clark’s abduction although he was the last person to see her alive which is circumstantial. The exoneration you and several others have referenced earlier ONLY relate to a gun charge. That weapon was obtained during a traffic stop and the charge was dismissed because of problem with the court order. I will not discuss any further the Samantha Clark investigation because it is ongoing and out of respect for her family. Lastly I do not have a link to post because like I said I was deployed to Nelson County day one. I do ask when you discuss this to remember a family lost their 17 year daughter at the hands of Taylor so be respectful. Thank You…

    • Working Man

      You still don’t have a clear grasp of the fact that he didn’t get a fair trial. You caught him in a few lies. Her cell phone was found near his trailer. Her shirt inside the trailer with a broken finger nail.

      Still no proof that he killed someone. — The charge wouldn’t have held up in any other place but Nelson. Oh, but the jurors agreed? Well, of course they did. They decided long before they were even called for jury duty.

      Did you stop to ask yourself: how can a broke bum like Randy Taylor, who often wondered where his next gallon of gas was coming from, have all the means & implements to make a human body magically disappear — so well that trained experts can’t even find a trace? The Mafia can’t even do that. But that’s diverging a little bit.

      You and your cohorts are making a mockery out of the United States of America. Leave, please.

      • Belsma

        If he did not get a fair trial then he may appeal. It was not her shirt, I believe it was his. He lied and had “selective” memory. The Mafia can certainly make a body disappear..crime boss is still missing. So what is your theory of what happened to Alexis? Teenage girls constantly on social media don’t all of the sudden stop unless something has happened to them. Their brains are not programmed just to give technology up unless they are dead or being held somewhere without access. My child sleeps with devices under her pillow on weekends (she has to give them up at 945 on weekdays).

      • Scott

        @ working man…Taylor knew Orange and Nelson County very well which only means to you both counties are extremely rural and offer thousands of acres to hide a body. It doesnt take a genius to hide a body within thousands of acres of wooded mountains. And you are also wrong that “expert trackers” did not find a trace of Alexis. We found her blood on Taylors T-shirt, same T shirt he was wearing the night she was abducted, we found her broken fingernails, we found her hair extensions which were pulled out with force, we found her eye lashes, we found her cell phone, and we found her vehicle, I would call that more than a “trace”. You are correct Taylor is a bum and he is also a worthless evil POS who will die in prison a very slow death. Unfortunately when he does die you will be able to retrieve his body and bury your relative/friend something he did not allow his victims families to do for their loved ones.

        “Leave” seriously ? if we leave whose is going to pay your welfare benefits and other freebies you get from us…

        enjoy your next episode of springer…and please do society a favor and never breed….

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      Well Scott as someone who has been interrogated before they use confusion. The stories change when people try and confuse you. They even encourage you to say things you didn’t say. Don’t act like you don’t know this.

    • athynz

      Assuming that what you say is true – you can post a link to the information that was publicly released at the trial. The fact that you hide behind this whole “posted to Nelson Co” excuse is BS.

      And yes I am fully aware that the Murphys lost their child and I sympathize with their loss and with them not truly knowing if she is dead or simply missing and possibly alive somewhere. However there are some red flags here – 1) the speed in which he was initially made a person of interest and found guilty in the court of public opinion day 1 2) The speed in which the trial was not only scheduled but the speed in which it took place and 3) Most importantly are the still in place gag orders. Something is not adding up.

      • Scott

        Ms. athynz you are clearly one of those women who believe just because you say something it must be true but in the adult world where I work we deal in facts and the truth. I was deployed to Nelson County as part of the federal response because the victim was a minor. Taylor was identified because of the telephonic analysis and several convenience store employees, two of which testified at trial to this fact, contacted the command post and provided us the video of Taylor and Alexis talking. They also identified his vehicle and that combined with the fact her phones last “ping” was 50 feet from his camper lead us to him. We also interviewed numerous other people but the investigation kept coming back to Taylor. He was tried 10 months later and the prosecutor introduced the evidence keeping it concise. The defense had nothing to work with because of the evidence, Taylors lack of an alibi and Taylors numerous lies to LE.

        Why is it my responsibility to post anything for you. You are obviously a bored housewife so do the research yourself.

        Lastly enjoy your mothers day tomorrow… I am sure your husband appreciates you..you are beautiful on the inside no matter what they say :)

    • athynz

      Ah yes, typical keyboard warrior troll response – someone disagrees with you, calls you out, and you resort to insults and innuendo. If you are a LEO, prove it. If there is a site or are sites that prove your words post the links. You’ve danced around this one simple request twice now. Sorry dude, I’m not buying the BS line that YOU are any sort of LEO much less one that was assigned to go to Nelson Co to work on this case.

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    Once again just like I said, no evidence and placed a gag order so they could get a scapegoat. Appeal old boy. This country is corrupt but waste the money and fight. This sets a horrible precedent.

  • Scott

    Well dustin law enforcement is not going to apologize because you were confused during your last several arrest….maybe you should have stayed in school and confusion would not come so easily for you. Taylor attempted to provide numerous explanations and only recanted once provided evidence that his latest lie was in fact a lie. Taylor settled on he simply could not remember where he was during the abduction and subsequent murder which encompassed a 14 hour period or so.

    The evidence is clear and was overwhelmingly. If you choose to look the other so be it but one thing is clear Taylor will die in prison a very slow death and no other young girl will be murdered and no other family will be devastated by this POS….

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      You have it wrong Scott. They can’t confuse me. I can see they try to force confusion though. You assume quite a lot. That seems to be an ongoing issue with you. Are you also of a monotheistic background by chance? I know the last question is not relevant to the topic. Think of it as my own personal curious question for my own knowledge.

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