Alexis Murphy Abduction Suspect Denied Bond
The top suspect in the disappearance of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy of Nelson County will remain behind bars. A judge denied Randy Taylor bond Thursday afternoon after hearing Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin's evidence against him for the first time.
Alexis, 17, 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. Authorities arrested Taylor, 48, on Sunday, August 11, and charged him with felony abduction in relation to the case. For more, click here.
Thursday‘s bond hearing, held at Nelson County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, was the first time the commonwealth was able to present its evidence in the case against Taylor.
Judge A. Ellen White did allow the public in for a portion of the hearing but the most sensitive evidence was presented in private - which means there are still not many details available in this case.
Most of the commonwealth's evidence was presented behind closed doors because of fear of jeopardizing the ongoing investigation. The prosecution did however bring up Taylor's criminal history, calling him a flight risk and a danger to the public.
Taylor's defense attorney, Michael Hallahan, said Taylor was not the last person to see Alexis, showing the judge a picture of the man they say was. Hallahan says none of the commonwealth's evidence comes close to an abduction charge. He says Taylor was hit the day before the hearing with a probation violation - failure to pay $600 in restitution to Albemarle County - stemming from a charge back in 2005, and that that was another attempt to keep him behind bars because of a lack of evidence.
Hallahan asked the judge to release Taylor on a secured bond, saying Taylor would stay with his son and son's mother in Nelson County with a GPS monitoring device. Judge White denied that motion, finding the commonwealth's evidence sufficient.
Alexis' aunt, Trina Murphy, says she is happy with the ruling.
"Obviously we're thrilled. He is where he belongs. And he will remain there," said Murphy.
Taylor's defense attorney did not wish to comment on the hearing on his way out of court.
Taylor waived his right to a preliminary hearing. His case will now go before a grand jury on September 26.
Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney
A bail hearing was held in the Nelson County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court this afternoon for Randy Allen Taylor who is charged with abduction in connection with the Alexis Murphy case.
Based on the evidence presented by the Commonwealth; and the defendant's prior record, Judge A. Ellen White, the presiding judge, denied Randy Taylor's request for bond and ordered that he continue to be held without bail.
After bail was denied, the defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the felony abduction charge meaning that the case will go automatically to the Nelson County Circuit Court Grand Jury which meets September 24, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. The grand jury will decide whether to indict Taylor for abduction.