Courtney Taylor formally sentenced to life without parole

In this file photo from February Taylor entered an Alfrod Plead, however Wednesday during a Zoom conference Taylor was formally sentenced to life without parole. | File photo

WHITLEY COUNTY— A Williamsburg woman charged with killing her husband and two children in January 2017 was sentenced to life without parole Wednesday morning.

During a video conference sentencing Wednesday morning, Judge Jeff Burdette officially sentenced Courtney Taylor, 44, to life without parole.

In February Taylor entered an Alford plea on the three counts of murder. The Alford plea means Taylor does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence for conviction. It was the Commonwealth's recommendation for Taylor to receive life without parole.

Commonwealth Attorney Jackie Steele said in February he had been in contact with the victims' family and they understood that a death penalty by jury trial is not anything that’s probably going to proceed during her expected natural life and that she’d probably die of natural causes in the penal system anyway.

“The main thing that they wanted... was that she could never walk out of prison again,” said Steele previously.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Brandon Jones appeared via Zoom conference Wednesday in place of Steele. Jones had no opposition to the guilty plea review nor did Taylor’s attorney.

Judge Burdette said it was after reviewing the pre-sentence investigation, the victim impact statements, the circumstances of the defendant and several other items that the sentence was made.

Burdette added that the wait now is over for the family. There will be no month long trial, said Burdette.

Taylor faced three counts of murder for the shooting of her husband and two children in their beds. The bodies were discovered after deputies with the Whitley County Sheriff's Department responded to the home near the Emlyn community to investigate a 911 call made by a concerned family member.

When deputies arrived at the scene, there was no response from inside the home, which led to them forcing their way through a back door of the house. Upon entry, according to deputies, Taylor aimed a firearm in the direction of the deputies before being shot twice. For that, Taylor was also facing two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. Those charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.

She was taken from the scene to Baptist Health Corbin and then later transported to the UK Medical Center for further treatment. After being released, she was jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center.

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