May 7, 2014
With jury deliberations set to begin, there could be a verdict in the Randy Taylor murder trial as early as Thursday.
Taylor is accused of abducting and killing 17-year-old Alexis Murphy of Nelson County. Even though there is a murder charge, Murphy has not been located.
"It's a very difficult case to prove without a body, without a true motive and with all circumstantial evidence basically brought against the defendant to have the jury find the defendant guilty," said Newsplex legal analyst Scott Goodman.
But that's what the commonwealth has tried to do, taking four days to lay down its case.
On Wednesday, the defense wrapped up in an hour and ten minutes.
Despite the time difference, Goodman says it's not unusual or a sign of a weak case by the defense. Short and sweet was likely the goal. He says, at this point, the burden is on the commonwealth.
"The defendant does not have to prove anything. When you're on trial, you don't have to prove that you're innocent. You don't have to prove where you were or why you did anything. The commonwealth has to prove that you are guilty. Sometimes, the defense, if they call too many witnesses or if they put on evidence at all, they can give the commonwealth's attorney evidence to use against [them,]" said Goodman.
Goodman says, though the case had received so much publicity in such a small town, it's the jury's job to put emotions aside and simply consider the evidence before them.
"It's a very difficult thing for a jury and it's a very dangerous thing for a defendant to be facing a charge like this, especially in a small county like Nelson because people who study the psychology of juries will tell you there's a mentality when you're together in a group like that to want to support the victim. There's so much sympathy. There's so much outrage," said Goodman.
The jury will begin deliberations at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.