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Thread: Rejon Taylor - Federal Death Row

  1. #1
    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    Rejon Taylor - Federal Death Row




    Summary of Offense:

    On October 21, 2008, a jury in Chattanooga, Tennessee recommended a death sentence for Taylor after convicting him of murder, kidnapping and carjacking. The victim was Guy Luck, a white businessman who lived in Atlanta, Georgia. He was brought across state lines and murdered in Tennessee in 2004.

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    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    December 3, 2008

    Judge Sets Death Penalty For Rejon Taylor----No Date Set For Execution In Guy Luck Murder Case

    Federal Judge Curtis Collier on Wednesday morning ordered the death penalty for an Atlanta man convicted in the murder of restaurant operator Guy Luck in Collegedale in 2004.

    Judge Collier said he was required to abide by the jury ruling of death for Rejon Taylor.

    No date was set for the execution.

    The defense had asked Judge Collier to consider commuting the sentence to life in prison.

    Taylor was convicted along with Sir Jack Matthews and Joey Marshall of abducting the owner of a French restaurant from his Buckhead home and driving him across the Tennessee line.

    Prosecutors said Matthews shot at the victim first, then after his gun jammed, Taylor turned around and shot the restaurant operator in the mouth.

    The defense said it had been planned to let the hostage out, but he started struggling with them. Taylor has been represented by attorneys Bill Ortwein, Lee Ortwein, Howell Clements and Leslie Cory.

    Judge Collier said he had been contacted by Elizabeth Ford, who heads the local federal public defender office. He said Ms. Ford recommends that on appeal Taylor be represented by Ms. Cory and that Attorney Berry J. Fischer of New York be the lead counsel.

    Attorney Bill Ortwein recommended instead that the defense team on appeal be either Ms. Cory or Lee Ortwein along with Attorney Paul Cross, an associate of Attorney Clements. Judge Collier asked Attorney Cross to submit data on his experience with handling death penalty cases. Attorney Bill Ortwein said Attorney Clements could assist Attorney Cross in the case. Taylor was asked his preference, and he said he would like Attorney Cory and Attorney Cross.

    Judge Collier said he will rule later, but likely will name Ms. Cory as one of the attorneys for the appeal.

    Attorney Bill Ortwein said he will assist with the appeal without charge.

    (Source: The Chattanoogan)

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    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    April 23, 2009

    Related Case

    Federal Judge Curtis Collier on Thursday morning sentenced Sir Jack Matthews to life in prison for his part in the 2004 kidnapping and murder of Atlanta restaurant operator Guy Luck.

    Rejon Taylor has been given the death penalty in the case and Joey Marshall was given a 10-year sentence.

    Judge Collier told Matthews he is a "menace to society" and "you will have your last gasp of breath in a federal prison somewhere."

    Prosecutor Steve Neff said Matthews had tried to trick the government by completely changing his story when he testified at the Taylor trial.

    Defense Attorney Bryan Hoss said that came about because Taylor and Matthews were mistakenly put in the same cell for a year at the Hamilton County Jail.

    Judge Collier said it was Matthews who waited by Mr. Luck's van, then forced him into it at gunpoint. He said he held a gun on the captive during a two-hour ride north on I-75.

    He said Matthews fired the first shot at the victim and that he tried to shoot again, but the weapon misfired.

    The judge noted that Matthews had congratulated Taylor on the killing as they drive back to Chattanooga, calling him "a soldier."

    Judge Collier said the abduction of the operator of a popular French restaurant did not make sense, saying Taylor apparently feared that Mr. Luck would turn him in for identity theft. But the judge said Taylor might have gotten a year or two at best if convicted on that minor charge.

    Matthews was given life sentences on each of four counts that he earlier entered guilty pleas to. He had faced a mandatory life sentence on a plea to first-degree murder.

    Prosecutors had withdrawn any offer of help for a shorter sentence after his surprising testimony that Mr. Luck was not abducted, but that he arranged for the trio to take him to Collegedale for a drug delivery. Matthews claimed that Mr. Luck was involved in homosexual and child pornography activities.

    Judge Collier said there was no evidence to back up any of the claims of the "fanciful" story, and he said the jury did not believe it.

    He said no drugs were found in the van and no child pornography or drugs were found at the Luck home. He said Mr. Luck was engaged to be married to his girlfriend.

    Attorney Hoss said Matthews had initially cooperated with authorities, including allowing the removal of a bullet that Taylor fired and first hit Mr. Luck and then Matthews.

    He said the government should not have allowed Matthews to be in the same cell with Taylor since he planned to testify against him. Prosecutor Neff said he was initially unaware that they were in the same cell. He said Matthews never complained about it.

    Attorney Hoss said the sentences in the case were too "disproportionate" going from 10 years for Marshall to the death penalty for Taylor and life in prison for Matthews.

    He said, except for his testimony, that Matthews might be in a similar sentencing situation with Marshall or at least might get 20 or 30 years in prison.

    Prosecutor Neff said Matthews "declined to play for the correct team, while making us think that he would." He said his testimony at the trial amounted to perjury and was "a classic case of obstruction of justice."

    He also said Matthews had shown no remorse.

    Matthews made a brief statement, saying he apologized and asked for mercy.

    In the audience were his brother, father and two friends from Atlanta.

    Source

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On April 28, 2009, Taylor filed his direct appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir...ts/ca6/09-5517

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    On February 11, 2016, the Sixth Circuit AFFIRMED Taylor's death sentence by a vote of two to one. Judges McKeague (G.W. Bush) and Rogers (G.W. Bush) voted to affirm. Judge White (G.W. Bush) dissented.

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions...6a0036p-06.pdf

  6. #6
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    On May 9, 2016, the Sixth Circuit DENIED Taylor's petition for en banc rehearing on direct appeal.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/16-6392.html

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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Taylor's petition writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis were DENIED.

    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    Case Numbers: (09-5517)
    Decision Date: February 11, 2016
    Rehearing Denied: May 9, 2016

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/16-6392.html

  8. #8
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    On May 4, 2019, Taylor filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/te...9cv00147/90170

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