Randy Allen Taylor, 48, who has been jailed since Aug. 11 in connection with the disappearance of Virginia teenager Alexis Murphy was charged Jan. 6 with two counts of first degree murder in the case.

Alexis, 17, of Shipman, Va., near Charlottesville, was last seen Aug. 3, 2013 on a shopping trip in Lynchburg, Va. According to a statement from the FBI, the lead agency on the investigation, Taylor was initially charged Aug. 11 with the abduction of Murphy, who was last seen about 7:15 p.m. Aug. 3.

A motions hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Nelson County Circuit Court in the case.

“The return of indictments only means that the grand jury found probable cause for the charges that I have mentioned and that Randy Taylor should go on trial for those charges,” Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin told the media after a grand jury indicted Taylor Jan. 6. “The defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Taylor is held without bond at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail.
Taylor’s attorney, Michael Hallahan said that Taylor is prepared to plead not guilty to the murder and abduction charges, according to news reports. Hallahan did not return a call from the AFRO seeking comment.

The prosecution and defense attorneys, along with state and federal authorities, declined to provide additional information on the specifics of the case because a judge imposed a gag order. 

LaTrina Antoine

Special to the AFRO