Alexis Murphy abduction trial set for Feb.

Posted at 7:27 AM, Oct 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-23 18:57:23-04

NELSON COUNTY, Va (WTVR) -- The trial for the man police believe abducted Alexis Murphy in August, has been set for Feb. 3, 2014. Last month a Nelson County grand jury indicted Randy Taylor on two felony charges, one for the abduction of Murphy and one connected to the theft of an ATV.

Taylor was arrested less than two weeks after Murphy's Aug. 3 disappearance. The 17-year-old girl, who is still missing, was last seen in surveillance photos at a gas station in Lovingston.  Taylor was also seen at that gas station, talking to Murphy.

Taylor’s attorney said his client admits he was with Murphy the day she was last seen; however, Taylor said Murphy left with a drug dealer when they parted.

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said the charges Taylor faces may offer insight on where the case stands.

"An indictment like this, is an indication of what sort of evidence the prosecutor has," Stone said.  "This is all done in a closed room with the grand jury so we really don't get to see the evidence yet, but we have an indication that it's this kind of low level abduction -  that she was detained temporarily against her will."

Stone added Taylor's abduction charge may be a way for the prosecution to hold him in order to buy more time, as the investigation continues. Taylor is being held without bond at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail.

"This charge is going to hold him in place until they find more evidence," Stone said.   "But it indicates they don't have a strong case on a murder or an intent to defile associated with an abduction; because if they did they would have charged him with that."

Taylor faces up to 10 years behind bars if convicted of abduction, Stone said.