BREAKING: Guilty verdict in Mark Taylor trial

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A jury has found Mark Taylor guilty on multiple charges after 4 hours of deliberation.

Taylor was found guilty in the kidnapping, beating, death, and discarding of the body of Alex Johnson back in December of 2013.

There will be a short break before sentencing.

Stay tuned to ABC 36 for more.

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6/15 12:40 p.m.

Mark Taylor’s high-profile murder trial has come to an end as the final witnesses took the stand and both sides ended their closing arguments on Wednesday.  Taylor took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday and claimed that the prosecution’s main witness, Timothy Ballard, was the one who beat Alex Johnson to death back in December 2013.

Mark Taylor’s lead attorney, Sandra Downs, said Taylor had no reason to kill Johnson, especially since Johnson had plans to hand over his marijuana business to him.  Downs said the only thing that Taylor could be guilty of is tampering with evidence.  Downs poked holes in Ballard’s story, saying Ballard was inconsistent in his claim that Taylor killed Alex Johnson and claiming that his story changed from the time he talked with police to get a plea deal, to the time he got on the stand to testify.  Downs closed, telling the jury that if they doubted Ballard’s story, they could not convict Taylor.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, say Taylor planned the murder, and is only pinning it on Ballard because of his large build.  ABC 36 will have more on the prosecution’s arguments on our news at 5, 5:30, and 6.

The jury has now left the court room, and will begin deliberations.

Taylor is charged with kidnapping, murder, and tampering with physical evidence.

Categories: Local News, News

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