Teacher and boyfriend hire hitman to kill student and family after he was charged for molesting the boy
A teacher in St. Louis was arrested in November last year and charged with molesting a seven-year-old student three years earlier. While in jail awaiting his trial last week, 36-year-old Deonte Taylor and his partner were charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill the former student and the child's family. In 2015, Taylor was a teacher's assistant at Lusher Elementary when he allegedly removed a seven-year-old male student from the class and took him into another room where he engaged the child in oral sex.
According to KSDK, even though the unnamed boy and his family had reported the alleged incident to authorities at the time, Taylor was not charged until a few years later. Authorities arrested Taylor in November 2018 after a DNA test revealed that his sample matched the DNA that was found on his alleged victim at the time of the alleged incident. Taylor now faces three charges of first-degree statutory sodomy.
Taylor earned his teaching certificate and became a fifth-grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District between 2015 and 2018. Since the charges were never filed against him he was able to get through the vetting process unnoticed.
Ferguson-Florissant School District spokesperson Kevin Hampton told KSDK: "Mr. Taylor went through the same process that all our teaching candidates go through. Everyone goes through a criminal background check, sexual abuse registry background check and there was nothing that showed up on that."
Taylor was in prison and awaiting trial in February this year when he allegedly attempted to arrange for someone to kill the student, who is now 10 years old, as well as the child's family in order to silence them. Taylor then convinced his 66-year-old boyfriend Michael Johnson to pay the killer to carry out the murders, which according to charging documents, he did. The intended hitman, however, soon became a police informant and exposed the plan.
Apart from the charges in the 2015 incident, Taylor also faces two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempting to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution. Johnson faces the same four charges. Both men appeared in a court in St. Louis on April 17 where they both pleaded not guilty to the charges. The couple is currently being held without bond.
A GoFundMe page was launched by the director of advocacy services at Crisis Aid International in St. Louis, Cindy Malott, to help the alleged victim and his family cover the expenses that they have racked up over the past three years. The description on the page read: "I am seeking to raise funds for the victim, his mother, and his family who have struggled financially and emotionally since the original incident in 2015."