Randy Taylor Sentenced to Two Life Terms
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The man convicted of abducting and killing Nelson County teen Alexis Murphy will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Wednesday, a judge upheld the two life sentences recommended by a jury back in May. But in a last-ditch effort, Randy Taylor tried to get a shorter sentence. His attorney, Michael Hallahan, asked for just a 20-year sentence in exchange for information leading to Alexis Murphy. Both the prosecution and her family declined, saying her life is worth more than that.
Taylor didn't show much emotion as a Nelson County Judge Michael Gamble handed down two life sentences for abducting and killing Murphy, whose family says knowing Taylor won't be able to hurt anyone else gives them comfort.
"Because of Alexis he's not out there on the streets and can do this to someone else. In a sense that's some kind of closure for all the families and the young girls that she helped save,” said Angela Taylor, Alexis Murphy’s aunt.
During the sentencing hearing, the defense continued to argue that a third person was involved and that even though Taylor could provide information leading to Murphy’s whereabouts, he still says he didn't kill her. The defense also asked the judge to set aside both guilty verdicts, citing a lack of evidence, but the judge overruled that, saying the evidence was sufficient. Judge Gamble also gave Taylor an extra six years suspended - to make sure he’s on supervised probation if he ever gets out of prison.
Murphy’s family wants her home, but says the defense’s proposed deal wasn't the way to do it. "To find some semblance of a soul and tell us where she is. But we were not willing to bargain with him,” said Trina Murphy, Alexis Murphy’s great-aunt. “I'm not bargaining with a murderer.”
Angela Taylor says she absolutely believes Randy Taylor knows where her niece is. Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin says keeping him behind bars is a matter of public safety.
"I'm satisfied that justice was done in this case and that Randy Taylor will spend the rest of his life in prison for taking a young life,” Martin said.
With Taylor likely never leaving prison, Murphy’s family now will focus on keeping her memory alive. “We're going to continue to build Alexis' legacy. She will not leave here in vain,” Trina Murphy said.
The family plans to have a vigil for her on August 3 at Nelson County High School.
Taylor, who maintains his innocence, plans to file an appeal.