Virginia Jury To Begin Deliberations In
Rural Murder Case
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[May 08, 2014]
By Gary Robertson
LOVINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) - A jury
will begin deliberations on Thursday in the case of a handyman accused
of murdering a 17-year-old girl in rural western Virginia, following
closing arguments by attorneys on Wednesday.
Randy Taylor, 48, is accused of abducting high school senior
Alexis Murphy in August 2013 while she was on a shopping trip, and
then killing her. The case has drawn national attention and riveted
the close-knit region.
Murphy had been out purchasing hair extensions so she could dress up
for her senior portrait, according to family members. She was last
seen at a local service station, where surveillance cameras also
captured Taylor opening the door for her.
She has never been seen since, despite dozens of searches through
the rugged mountainous area by law enforcement officers, community
volunteers and Murphy's own friends and family.
The teenager's car was found abandoned in the parking lot of a movie
theater in an adjoining county three days after her disappearance.
Taylor is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and
abduction. Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin told
jurors that Murphy's blood was found on a shirt that had been balled
up and shoved under a couch in Taylor's trailer.
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But defense attorney Michael Hallahan has told the jury that nobody
knew what happened to Murphy.
(Reporting by Gary Robertson; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Ken
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