Retrial starts in 2008 slaying case
WILMINGTON -- The retrial of Allen J. Taylor in connection with the 2008 slaying of 18-year-old Jaiquone Moore began Monday in New Castle County Superior Court. Taylor, 39, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2010, but last year a divided Delaware Supreme Court reversed the conviction and subsequent life sentence he received. A majority of justices believed a videotaped statement from a key prosecution witness that was played at trial was coerced and therefore inadmissible. Jurors selected for the retrial will not see a portion of the disputed video in which the witness identifies Taylor as the shooter. The jury also will not hear about Taylor's nickname: 'Murder.' While it was not a basis for throwing out the conviction, the justices stated that at a retrial all references to Taylor's nickname should be avoided 'if possible.' At the first trial, defense attorney Kester Crosse said prosecutors had no case against Taylor beyond his 'stupid ... crazy' nickname. Crosse said investigators have 'no gun, no fingerprints, no DNA, no confession, no video.' Deputy Attorney General Maria Knoll has conceded that prosecutors do not know of a motive for Taylor to shoot Moore, but argue the evidence he did so is conclusive. Prosecutors said Moore was walking in the 500 block of Fifth St. in Wilmington on Aug. 18, 2008, when he passed Taylor and another man, who were sitting outside a house. An eyewitness said she saw Moore turn as though words were being exchanged and then turn to walk away when shots rang out, prosecutors said. Taylor left Delaware and went to New York that night, according to phone records, which prosecutors argue shows a consciousness of guilt. Crosse has questioned the accuracy of the eyewitness testimony, noting it was dark and the witnesses were at least a football field's length away at the time. The video evidence that was tossed out by the state Supreme Court involved a witness who was questioned by Wilmington police for two hours and denied he knew who shot Moore 26 times. At that point, a detective left the room and returned to handcuff the witness to a chair and said, 'Here's the deal. I just got off the phone with the [Attorney General's] office and you're being arrested,' which was a lie. The man then acknowledged on the video that he was at the scene, heard a shot and saw Taylor with a towel over his hand and sparks coming from the towel. At trial, however, the man claimed he didn't see anything. Crosse had called the interrogation 'the psychological equivalent of waterboarding.' Superior Court Judge John A. Parkins Jr. is again presiding over the trial.
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#1 Mar 9, 2012
This guy is GUILTY. I hope the jury finds him guilty!
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