Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:41 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:41:14 GMT
Saturday August 03: Alexis Murphy left her home in Shipman, Virginia on Saturday evening, reportedly headed for Lynchburg. She tweeted "Burg Bound" to her twitter followers at 3:04 p.m. Saturday. According toFull Story
A timeline of events in the search for Alexis Murphy.Full Story
The prosecution began presenting its case Friday in Nelson County Circuit Court against Randy Taylor, accused of abducting and murdering 17-year-old Alexis Murphy.
Day two of Taylor's trial brought six hours of testimony from 18 witnesses called by the prosecution. In opening statements, the prosecution revealed information about evidence investigators found during searches of Taylor's trailer. The prosecution says the shirt Taylor was seen wearing on the surveillance video from the Liberty gas station in Lovingston the day Alexis was last seen was found balled up in his trailer, with a piece of her hair extension, blood, and fake lashes in it. Also in the trailer, the prosecution says investigators found a torn fingernail, a diamond stud, and hair on Taylor's pillow - all with Alexis' DNA.
The defense claims the evidence does not prove abduction and murder and points to another man’s possible involvement. Taylor says Damien Bradley was with them the day Alexis disappeared. The defense claims Bradley was not investigated thoroughly enough, because he moved to Alabama. He returned after Taylor's arrest. Alexis left her home in Shipman Saturday, August 3, reportedly heading toward Lynchburg. Surveillance video shows her at the Liberty gas station in Lovingston around 7:15 that night. That was the last time she was seen.
Surveillance video shown Friday afternoon shows Taylor holding the door for Alexis at the Liberty gas station. Surveillance video also shows Alexis' car following Taylor's car on Route 29 North, in the opposite direction of where she was supposed to be headed.
A number of FBI agents testified Friday, along with two Liberty gas station cashiers. One says she saw Taylor and Alexis talking. Another claims Taylor often parked and watched young girls.
Trina Murphy, Alexis' aunt, said, “I've always said that's he's a predator and I stick to that. That's what predators do. They sit and watch their prey until it's time to pounce."
Surveillance footage also showed Murphy's car being parked in Charlottesville. It was not clear enough to see who was driving or who got out. The prosecution argued that Taylor was at the Applebee's right after the car was parked and took a cab back to Nelson County. The defense did not dispute that, but says that Kid to Kid - where Alexis worked - is closer to the Carmike Theater than Applebee's.
Authorities arrested Taylor, 48, on Sunday, August 11, and charged him with felony abduction in relation to the case. He was charged with first-degree murder in relation to the case on January 6.
Alexis' family filed into the courtroom as day two of the trial got underway; each wearing pink ribbons in honor of Alexis. Her mother, Laura Murphy, is one of several witnesses who have testified so far for the prosecution. She testified that it was completely unlike Alexis not to contact anyone, and she would not have disappeared on her own. Without a body, it's crucial for the prosecution to prove it would be out of character for Alexis to be gone this long.
The prosecution is expected to call a number of additional witnesses Monday. Until then, court is in recess.