Judge denies alleged killer Randy Taylor a change of venue

Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-07 15:11:48-05

A Nelson County judge has denied Randy Taylor a change of venue request.

Taylor’s attorney Michael Hallahan had earlier filed a motion seeking a change of venue because he is worried Taylor won’t get a fair trial in Nelson County. He said because of all the media attention, it will be difficult to seat a fair and impartial jury.

Judge Michael Gamble said Thursday that there has not been enough inaccurate, ill-timed, or inflammatory media coverage to prompt a change in venue, CBS 6 affiliates WDBJ report.

The judge granted a motion stating that prosecutors must let the court know before mentioning any other missing persons or murder case.

Taylor is scheduled to go on trial May 1 on charges including first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile.

Taylor, 48, was arrested Aug. 12 and initially charged with abduction in connection with Alexis’ disappearance.

Surveillance video at a Lovingston gas station captured images of Murphy, 17, on Saturday, Aug. 3. That was the last time Alexis Murphy was seen.

Taylor’s attorney told CBS 6 News in August that her disappearance might be linked to a drug deal.

He said Taylor, Alexis and an unidentified drug dealer met at Taylor’s Nelson Highway home.  After buying $60 in marijuana Taylor insisted Alexis and the drug dealer left.  Taylor said that was the last time he saw the teen.

A special grand jury brought first-degree murder charges against Taylor in January 2014.

He was indicted on First Degree Murder, First Degree Felony Murder (murder of Alexis Murphy during commission of a felony), Abduction with Intent to Defile and Grand Larceny (unrelated to Alexis Murphy case).