NELSON COUNTY, Va. — The man who abducted and murdered a Virginia teen was formally sentenced in a Nelson County courtroom Wednesday afternoon.
Circuit Judge J. Michael Gamble sentenced Randy Allen Taylor, 48, to two consecutive life sentences for first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in connection with the disappearance of missing Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy.
Additionally, Taylor’s lawyer stated in his client maintains his innocence, but knows where Murphy’s body is located.
Taylor’s attorney said that his client claimed a third person was involved and that Taylor would reveal the body’s location in exchange for 20 year sentence.
However, the judge, along with Murphy’s family, rejected that offer.
“I didn’t kill Alexis Murphy,” Taylor told the courtroom.
Taylor called the prosecution “over zealous” and that he “didn’t profile black girls.” He also said that this case was perhaps “the biggest thing to ever happen to Nelson County.”
Taylor’s lawyer said he would appeal the sentence. He faced anywhere from 40 years in prison to a life prison sentence.
Legal expert on Taylor’s latest claim
Attorney Ed Riley, who is not affiliated with the case, said the offer made by Taylor’s attorney is unusual.
Riley said there’s only one reason his defense would make such an offer after sentencing.
“Quite frankly, it’s probably because the client didn’t tell the lawyer this information before — or if he did, he probably said, ‘You can’t use it unless I let you know,’” Riley said.
Additionally, Riley said that if Taylor does know where Murphy’s body is located right now, he will likely use it as a bargaining tool. But only if prosecutors, Murphy’s family and investigators are interested.
“I would think they would at least make that effort, assuming they think it’s valid, assuming they think that he’s being genuine and truly have that information and it’s not just the act of a desperate man,” Riley said.
Family comforted by sentence as anniversary approaches
After the sentencing the Murphy family told reporters “justice has been done.”
The Murphy family told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George that a “Keep Hope Alive” vigil and basketball tournament will happen on Aug. 3 – the one year anniversary of Murphy’s disappearance.
Murphy, 17, was last seen August 3, 2013 and police have not yet found her body.
Taylor admitted he was with Murphy the last day she was seen alive, but said he was not the last person to see her.
He claimed Murphy left his home with another man during a drug deal. Prosecutors said there was no evidence to suggest a third person was ever in Taylor’s camper.
Over the course of Taylor’s trial the defense noted Murphy’s body was never found and there is no evidence that the teen was dead.
The prosecution countered by arguing 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.
Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for updates on this story.