By Fred Petke/Staff Writer
An outburst from relatives of murder victim David Messer sped Larry Taylor’s sentencing hearing along Friday morning to its conclusion.
Taylor, 44 of London, pleaded guilty in August to killing Messer with a baseball bat, then transporting the body to Kay Jay Mountain in May 2005.
Taylor’s attorney Roger Gibbs said his client made no statements during his sentencing hearing Friday, but had apologized previously.
“The only thing he did in his (presentence investigation) report is apologize and say he was sorry for what happened,” Gibbs said.
Taylor was sentenced to 35 years in prison according to the terms of the plea agreement by Knox Circuit Judge Greg Lay. He will serve 35 years for murder and another five years for tampering with physical evidence; the two sentences will be served together.
Under state statue, Taylor must serve 85 percent, or nearly 30 years, of the sentence before he is eligible to meet the parole board, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Harold Dyche said.
Taylor was arrested in May 2005 after Messer’s body was found on Kayjay Mountain in Knox County. Police said Messer was beaten to death with a baseball bat. Taylor then disposed of the bat and moved the body.
Witnesses told state police that Taylor threatened to kill them as well is they didn’t leave the scene. The witnesses said they saw Taylor hit a man several times with a bat before they were threatened.
Police also found drag marks at the scene as well as blood marks at the scene and in the trunk of a car owned by Taylor’s mother.
Taylor was twice found competent to stand trial after separate psychiatric evaluations. During the second one, doctors said Taylor was malingering, or trying to appear incompetent. The second hearing helped spur the plea negotiations forward, Gibbs said previously.
By Fred Petke/Staff Writer
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