Day one of the trial for West Virginia versus Benjamin Taylor began Wednesday with opening statements from each side.
Taylor was indicted on five counts of murder, felony murder, death of an infant, sexual assault and sexual assault by a person of trust.
The prosecutor began by telling the jury they would hear about how 10-month old Emmaleigh Barringer died, but not about the life she was supposed to live.
Taylor's lawyer opened by saying what happened to Emmaleigh was terrible, but Taylor has been falsely accused.
Throughout the course of the day 10 witnesses testified including Amanda Adkins, Emmaleigh's mother. She gave an emotional testimony recounting things that happened between October 2 and October 5 of 2016. Jurors heard 911 recordings from the night her daughter was abused. Adkins cried on the stand as the tapes played.
Others to take the stand included law enforcement, first responders, 911 dispatch and medical professionals.
The day ended with the chief medical examiner of West Virginia testifying to the jury a series of graphic photos of the girl’s body after the crime and during autopsy. He explained in detail the injuries she suffered and what can cause each type of injury.
he's a lying lowlife piece of shit
A longtime friend of Benjamin Taylor testified Friday that the Cottageville man is a “good guy” who could not have sexually assaulted and killed a 10-month-old Fairplain girl in 2016.
“I say there’s no way,” Tammy Ramsey said about the charges Taylor faces in the death of Emmaleigh Elizabeth Barringer.
Emmaleigh died Oct. 5, 2016, two days after police and medical experts say she was sexually assaulted.
Ramsey was among the first witnesses defense attorney Tim Rosinsky called Friday to testify about Taylor’s character. Ramsey told jurors she has lived beside Taylor for years and known him all his life. She described him as good with children and said she trusts him around her own.
“He’s got a good essence,” she said. “He’s got a good vibe. He’s always polite and happy going.”
Jurors on Friday also heard from Barbara Kay, who, in 2016, lived in a townhouse that shared a wall with that of Emmaleigh’s mother, Amanda Adkins.
Kay testified that she heard a baby scream and cry on the third floor of the townhouse between 12:30 and 1 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2016, the night before Adkins found the infant lifeless.
Kay said she was so alarmed by the child’s crying she had in mind to call 911. She decided not to when the baby stopped crying about 30 seconds later, she said.
The prosecution alleges that the assault happened in the early hours of the next morning in the house’s basement. Kay, a mother of four who also cares for her grandchildren, said she’s “100 percent certain” the crying baby was Emmaleigh, not any of the other three children in the home.
She said she didn’t tell police about what she heard, even after she realized what had happened to the baby.
“I was busy,” she said. “I’m not a well woman. I don’t go out of my way to get into other people’s affairs.”
Prosecutor Katie Franklin also played excerpts of four phone calls she said Taylor made from the South Central Regional Jail. In one, Taylor allegedly tells a woman, apparently his mother, he’s sorry and that he did not molest Emmaleigh.
“I did do something bad, but I didn’t molest her,” he allegedly says on the call.
In the other alleged call, a woman tells Taylor about the baby’s funeral arrangements and that the family was donating her organs.
“Well, the reason I think it’s a good thing they did something like that, and then they’re having the viewing now, is because they ain’t got much evidence,” Taylor allegedly said. “As far as, like, DNA sh--.”
In a third call, Taylor allegedly tells a man he knows that “she” did something but that he doesn’t know what.
“Because the fractured skull thing, man, that’s the part I don’t understand,” Taylor allegedly says. “I’m not afraid to take my punishment [for] what I done, but what they got me charged with is not what I should be charged with.”
“I don’t know how I can deny it if I can’t remember it,” Taylor said. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable denying it.”
A Jackson County jury has found Benjamin Taylor guilty on all charges, including first-degree murder with no mercy.
The jury also found guilty of death of a child by child abuse and sexual abuse by a guardian/custodian. Taylor was technically found guilty on all charges. The fourth of five charges was thrown out because it was first-degree sexual assault, and he was convicted of sexual abuse by a guardian or custodian.
Benjamin Taylor has been sentenced to life in prison without mercy for the rape and murder of 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer.
At the hearing, Emmaleigh's grandmother gave a victim impact statement. She talked about how the 10-month-old's life was cut short, showed Emmaleigh's handprint and footprint, said how the memories are all they have left, and concluded by asking the judge to "show no mercy."
The prosecutor talked about Taylor's lack of remorse.
The defense asked the judge to consider who Taylor was for the first 30 years of his life. Taylor chose not to speak.
The judge proclaimed he had, "never seen anything so horrible."
For the charge of first-degree murder, he was sentenced to life in prison without mercy.
For the charge of death of a child by child abuse, Taylor was sentenced to 40 years to run consecutively.
For the charge of sexual abuse by a guardian, he was sentenced to at least 10 years.
Taylor's defense attorney plans on appealing the sentencing.