A shirt Randy Taylor was wearing on the day of Alexis Murphy’s disappearance was found with her blood on it, according to the prosecution.
Taylor is on trial for the death of the 17-year-old, even though her body has not been found.
In opening statements made Friday in Nelson County court, investigators say they found the shirt balled up under Taylor’s couch. They also found a hair, a fingernail, a diamond stud from an earring, and fake eyelashes in Taylor’s trailer near his bed. Murphy’s iPhone was also found near Taylor’s trailer.
The hair, fingernail, and diamond were found during the first search of Taylor’s trailer.
The balled up shirt with Murphy’s blood on it was found days later by the FBI. After days of questioning and confirmation that it was Murphy’s blood on Taylor’s shirt, Taylor apparently told investigators “You might as well take me in. I’m getting tired.”
Taylor’s attorney, Michael Hallahan, raised questions about how the blood-stained shirt was not found during the initial search of the trailer. Hallahan admitted that Taylor lied to investigators, but that doesn’t mean he’s guilty. He also told the jury that there was no evidence of murder, and said that the commonwealth’s attorney is trying to get in the jury’s head.
Surveillance video shows Taylor opening a door to the gas station where Murphy was last seen Aug. 3 in Nelson County. The two reportedly left the gas station around 7:15 p.m., according to the prosecution. No one has seen Murphy since.
An employee at the gas station where Alexis Murphy was last seen says that she saw Murphy talking to Randy Taylor on the day that she disappeared.
The employee testified that Taylor pulled out of the gas station first, and Murphy's car pulled out behind him. The cashier and assistant store manager testified that Taylor was a regular customer at the gas station who regularly bought cigarettes and beer.
Hallahan said that Taylor, Murphy, and a third man, Damien Bradley all left the gas station and went back to Taylor's trailer to smoke marijuana. Taylor's attorney claims that Murphy and Bradley left Taylor's trailer together. Hallahan said that Bradley moved to Alabama shortly after Murphy disappeared. Once Taylor was arrested Bradley moved back to the area, according to Hallahan. Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin says Bradley was not involved.
On Aug. 4 Murphy’s car was seen on surveillance video being parked in a lot near Charlottesville. The video is too dark to see who is in the car.
Taylor was served at a nearby Applebee’s restaurant between 10:30 and 10:45 p.m. on
Aug. 4. Taylor told investigators that he went to Applebee’s with a friend. Servers at the restaurant said Taylor was by himself. The bartender claims that when Taylor came into the restaurant he was sweaty. The bartender said that Taylor ordered two beers and then took a cab home. Investigators say the cab driver dropped Taylor off three miles from his Lovingston home. Taylor claims that he went to Charlottesville with a friend and took a cab home because his friend passed out.
Testimony also began Friday morning at the Nelson County Courthouse.
Murphy’s mother also testified for about an hour. Laura Murphy said there is a difference between how Alexis was in real life and what she wrote on social media.
Murphy said she never saw her daughter smoke marijuana. She also testified that the last day that she saw her daughter was Aug. 3 – the day she went missing.
Alexis Murphy’s high school volleyball coach, Vicki Crawford, and Carla Hallman, the manager at the Charlottesville clothing store where she worked, also took the stand Friday.