The jury has gone home for the evening and will come back Thursday morning to begin deliberations in the Randy Taylor trial.


The Randy Taylor case is going to the jury.

The jury is deciding whether to stay and deliberate more, or come back Thursday morning. Taylor is accused of killing Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy.

Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin gave a 30-minute closing argument. Taylor's attorney, Michael Hallahan, spoke for an hour in his closing statement. Martin then gave a 20-minute rebuttal.

Murphy's family teared up several times during the closing arguments.


Closing arguments are starting in the Randy Taylor trial.

Randy Taylor Trial

Who?: Randy Taylor

What?: Taylor was convicted on murder and abduction charges in the disappearance of Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy.

Where?: Nelson County Courthouse in Lovingston

Prosecutor: Anthony Martin, Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney

Defense Attorney: Michael Hallahan

Judge: Michael Gamble

Key Dates

Aug. 3, 2013: Murphy was last seen at a gas station in Lovingston.

Aug. 6, 2013: Murphy's car was found in a movie theater parking lot in Albemarle County, just outside of Charlottesville.

Aug. 11, 2013: Taylor was arrested in connection to the disappearance of Murphy. He was charged with abduction.

Aug. 12, 2013: A bloody shirt with Murphy's DNA on it was found in Taylor's camper.

Dec. 11: Gag order issued for all parties involved in the investigation.

Jan. 6: Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney announces that a special grand jury has indicted Taylor on murder charges.

May 9: Taylor was convicted of first-degree murder and abduction.

July 23: Taylor was sentenced to serve two life sentences in prison.

Taylor is accused of killing Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy.

Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin expects his closing statements to take 75 minutes. Taylor's attorney, Michael Hallahan, expects his closing statements to take a half-hour. It's not clear yet if the jury will deliberate Wednesday or not.

The prosecution rested around 10:45 a.m. The defense called 11 witnesses and rested around 12:30 p.m.

Before the prosecution rested, Wayne Buraker, an inmate who was in a cell next to Randy Taylor, testified that Taylor told him that the first time he saw Murphy he wanted to have "his way" with her. Taylor's attorney questioned Buraker's credibility. Buraker has an extensive criminal record that dates back to 2001.

The first person Taylor's attorney, Michael Hallahan, called to testify was Lisa Woodfolk. She is a parking attendant in Charlottesville. Woodfolk testified that she is "100 percent" sure that she saw Murphy in a white Nissan, and Taylor in a truck behind her. The FBI did not find surveillance video of Taylor or Murphy at the parking deck. When Woodfolk was asked about the FBI not seeing Murphy or Taylor on surveillance video, she claimed that the FBI was not telling the truth. Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin said Woodfolk's testimony was an attempt at fame.

The defense also called a witness who is an employee of the Albemarle County Department of Social Services. She said she saw a girl matching Murphy's description at a grocery store, but she testified she wasn't 100 percent sure that it was Murphy because she didn't see her face.

Several of Murphy's friends were also took the stand Wednesday. Malaysia Page, described as Murphy's best friend, said Murphy acted like a party girl on social media. In real life she was very humble and insecure, Page said.

A friend of Murphy's on social media, Tyrone Martin, said he considered himself as Murphy's boyfriend. They met on Twitter in April 2013. Murphy and Martin never met face-to-face. Martin also said that the Alexis Murphy on social media was different than the one who he would talk to on the phone.

The mother of Taylor's son also took the stand Wednesday and testified that their son was with her the weekend Murphy went missing.

Billy Mays, the lead investigator in the case, testified that Murphy's body and clothes have not been found.

Hallahan twice made motions to have murder and abduction charges against Taylor dropped. The prosecution cited the 1980 Gina Hall murder case in Pulaski County as to why the charges should stand. That case was the first in Virginia history where a murder conviction happened without the body being found. Judge Michael Gamble overruled the defense's motions. Gamble said this is a circumstantial case, but there is enough evidence to hand it over to the jury.

WDBJ7's Nadine Maeser is in court. She will have more tonight at 5 and 6.