Through Attorney, Randy Taylor Tells His Story
More details are coming to light in the disappearance of Alexis Murphy. Suspect Randy Taylor is telling his side of the story.
Alexis, a 17-year-old from Nelson County, has been missing since Saturday, August 3, when she was reportedly headed to Lynchburg. The last place she was seen is a Liberty gas station in Lovingston.
Taylor is the prime suspect in her disappearance and has been charged with abduction. But Taylor's attorney, Mike Hallahan, says authorities need to look for someone else.
Hallahan says his client wasn't the last person with Alexis on August 3 - but that Taylor knows who was.
"A black male, mid- to late 20s, cornrows and a 20-year-old burgundy Caprice with 22-inch wheels," Hallahan said.
Hallahan says his client readily admits seeing Alexis the night she disappeared.
"Mr. Taylor told law enforcement that he met this missing girl at the Liberty gas station by coincidence. He had parked at the pumps to buy cigarettes and she had parked at the pumps to get gas," Hallahan said. "She made a comment to him about smoking marijuana based on her seeing him at another car wash in Lovingston weeks or a month before that. He had indicated to her that he would like to get some more. She said, ‘I know a guy' she told him to meet at another location in Lovingston and they rode up there in both cars."
Then, according to Hallahan, the three of them - Taylor, Alexis and the unidentified man - drove three separate vehicles back to Taylor's camper in Lovingston.
"Where the drug deal went down, where my client purchased $60 worth of marijuana from this man, he said they drank a beer together and they smoked. The girl did not smoke or drink anything," Hallahan said.
Hallahan says Alexis and the unidentified man left before sundown on August 3 in separate cars and Taylor hasn't seen them since.
Hallahan says law enforcement told Taylor he was arrested because the FBI found a hair in his camper belonging to Alexis.
"I don't know how a hair found in a camper would justify probable cause on an abduction any more than a misdemeanor of assault or battery or murder," Hallahan said.
According to Hallahan, Taylor repeatedly told law enforcement the story. Hallahan says there is DNA evidence of the unidentified man in the camper that should help authorities find him.
"He drank an Icehouse, a 12-ounce bottle of Icehouse, at the trailer and his DNA should be in that bottle in that trailer whoever that was," Hallahan said.
Hallahan says Taylor has already shared his entire story with police, and that police aren't sharing that information with the public.
The story Hallahan describes has similarities to the story about Taylor's involvement in the Samantha Clarke case published in the Hook in October. In that story, Clarke's mother, Barbara Tinder, says a couple told her about a place "where Taylor kept a camper, and where they said he would sometimes hold parties." The report indicates the couple didn't say Taylor had harmed Clarke but implied they felt he played a part in her disappearance.
The FBI is not commenting on the details from Taylor.
Thursday 08/15/2013 Update: Initially, Hallahan wanted anyone with information about this potential other suspect to call him directly. Hallahan has since closed his tip line, advising anyone with information to contact law enforcement.
A bond hearing for Taylor has been scheduled for Thursday, August 22 in Nelson County.