West Virginia man accused of raping and murdering girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter
The trial for 33-year-old Benjamin Taylor, who is facing multiple charges in connection to the 2016 death of Emmaleigh Barringer, is underway.
The trial of a man who has been accused in the 2016 killing his girlfriend's 10-month-old baby is underway, with the lead investigator stating during his testimony that he had little doubt the defendant raped and murdered the infant.
According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, 33-year-old Benjamin Taylor, of Cottageville, West Virginia, is facing charges of first-degree murder, death of a child by child abuse, first-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust to a child in the death of 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer in October 2016.
At his trial in Jackson County, the lead investigator, chief deputy Ross Mellinger of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, told jurors that Taylor was watching pornography and listening to music at around the same time he allegedly raped and murdered the infant.
Cellphone records displayed at the court showed that the 33-year-old had searched for pornography from 2:52 am to 3:17 am on October 3, 2016, before his girlfriend at the time, Amanda Adkins, found him kneeling over a lifeless Emmaleigh. She testified in court that she had found him "shirtless with his pants unbuttoned and leaning over her naked, injured daughter."
Mellinger said Taylor had subsequently made a nine-second call to a contact listed as "Home" at 4:54 am, which is before police responded to Adkins' 911 call and arrived at his residence a little while later. The infant regained a pulse in the ambulance but died in the Charleston Hospital two days later.
The other law enforcement officers who responded to the home that morning backed Adkins' testimony and said Taylor had what appeared to be blood on his bare chest and a wet spot on the crotch of his jeans, something he reportedly tried to explain away by claiming he had "episodes" where he blacked out.
Furthermore, Mellinger said while officers were handcuffing the 33-year-old, he said, "I knew I was f***ed," a statement he once again repeated when detectives were collecting the DNA samples from his body. When he stood up for the arrest, he also put his hands in his pocket and was seemingly rubbing his groin area from the insides of his pockets.
In his defense, his attorney Tim Rosinsky brought up an exterior door and window in the basement of the apartment where the alleged murder happened and questioned officers on whether they had canvassed the neighborhood and interviewed others in the area, which he said had "high crime."
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that Rosinsky also suggested there was an issue with the DNA evidence collected in the case.