Randy Taylor Appears in Court for Advisement Hearing
A public defender will represent the suspect in the disappearance of Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy. Randy Allen Taylor stepped into a courtroom Tuesday afternoon for the first time since his arrest on a felony abduction charge.
Taylor was supposed to appear in court via video conference, but the county's video conferencing equipment to the jail wasn't working – so, deputies brought Taylor to Nelson County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to face a judge for his advisement hearing. A Nelson County Sheriff's cruiser delivered Taylor from the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail to the Lovingston courthouse.
Judge Kenneth Farrar read Taylor the felony charge he faces in connection with the disappearance of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy on Saturday, August 3. Taylor asked to have the court appoint an attorney. Attorney Michael Hallahan will defend Taylor.
A sheriff's deputy led the hand-cuffed Taylor out of the courtroom after the five-minute hearing. He's back behind bars at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, without bond.
A day after arresting Taylor, FBI agents removed evidence - including a camper and camouflage-wrapped GMC suburban - from his home hidden behind brush along Route 29 near Lovingston.
The FBI says agents continue to follow up on leads. There was no active search at Taylor's home Tuesday. The Sheriff's Office says Taylor was one of a handful of suspects from the start of their investigation.
The Nelson County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday that Taylor was caught on the same surveillance video as Alexis at the Liberty gas station in Lovingston on Saturday, August 3. That was the last time she was seen.
Taylor's next court date is January 9 at 10 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.
CLARIFICATION: The judge originally named Lynchburg-based attorney Scott DeBruin to defend Taylor, but Michael Hallahan will now represent him.
Nelson Commonwealth's Attorney
An advisement hearing for Randy Allen Taylor, who is charged with abduction in the Alexis Murphy case, was held this afternoon in the Nelson County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court.
Judge Kenneth W. Farrar appointed P. Scott DeBruin of Lynchburg, Virginia, to represent Taylor on the abduction charge. Taylor's next appearance, a preliminary hearing, will be held in the Nelson County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court on January 9, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
The preliminary hearing will only determine whether there is probable cause to send the case to the Nelson County Circuit Court Grand Jury for trial.
Taylor remains held without bail at this time.
Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney
An advisement hearing for Randy Allen Taylor, charged with abduction in the Alexis Murphy case, will be held at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 13, 2013 in the Nelson County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court.
Because Alexis Murphy is a minor, the General District Court of Nelson County transferred jurisdiction of the case to the juvenile court which has jurisdiction over offenses involving children.
Taylor remains held without bail and will appear by video from the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. The sole purpose of an advisement hearing, which generally lasts less than five (5) minutes, is to inform Taylor of his right to be represented by an attorney. He can waive his right to a lawyer and represent himself; he can try to qualify for a court-appointed lawyer if he meets certain financial requirements; or he can hire a lawyer to represent him. There will be no plea entered nor evidence heard at this hearing.
Media and the general public should contact the clerk's office of the Juvenile & Domestic Relations court concerning access to this hearing. The number is 434-263-7030.