Taylor found guilty in 2011 murder of cab driver - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Taylor found guilty in 2011 murder of cab driver

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MT. VERNON -- More than six years after a cab driver was murdered in Mt Vernon, a jury found one of the men involved guilty. 

A Jefferson County jury found Mark Taylor Junior guilty of murder Tuesday, one of four men charged in what prosecutors describe as a robbery-gone-wrong. It only took jurors a few hours to decide the case after prosecutors wrapped up their case Tuesday morning.

Taylor is one of four men charged in connection with the death of Charles Ellis at the intersection of 6th and Bell Street May 31, 2011. The other three men have already pleaded guilty.

Damondros James is serving a 50-year sentence on a murder charge even though he's trying to withdraw his guilty plea. Records say he'll be back in court next week.

Christopher Wells also pleaded guilty to murder but because he was 15 at the time of the crime and lawmakers passed a bill afterward raising the minimum age to be tried as an adult for first-degree murder, his lawyers argued Wells should be sentenced as a juvenile. A judge disagreed and Wells is scheduled to be sentenced later this month as an adult.

Demandre Black pleaded guilty to an aggravated battery charge in 2015 and is serving a 20 year sentence.

So why did it take this long to convict Taylor?

The answer involves comments he reportedly made to officers the night of the crime, comments a judge ruled inadmissible, and it took years before the Illinois Supreme Court declined to take up the case, letting the judge's ruling stand.

Other delays involved evidence and who would represent Taylor, but the trial finally started last week, resulting in Tuesday's guilty verdict.

A judge has scheduled Taylor for sentencing Jan. 12.

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