Jury Has Case in Mark Taylor Trial
By Candice Freeland
PADUCAH, KY - The jury has been given the task of deliberating a verdict in the murder trial of Mark Taylor.
During closing arguments, Taylor's attorney Craig Newbern said there is simply no proof that Mark Taylor ever intended to harm Casondra Evrard. He did want to talk to her in regard to what happened to his daughter Jasmine. Newbern said, " This was Jamie Taylor's plan... Jamie does what she wants to do."
He did not argue that Mark Taylor tampered with evidence, saying, "his actions were not right...moving Casondra's body..."
Newbern referenced Evrard's mother, Carla Cruse, saying that she had no idea how her life would change on that day. He said he hopes he never has to hear what she's heard about her daughter. But, he also said he hopes he never has to hear what Mark Taylor heard from his daughter Jasmine, that she had been raped.
That prompted prosecutor Raymond McGee to say he's not sure he and Newbern are hearing the same case.
McGee said that Mark Taylor was in total control of the situation; that he had said to police he would "neutralize" any threat to his family; that he would exact justice Mark Taylor style."
McGee pointed out that Taylor told officers his wife Jamie does what he tells her to do. He said Mark Taylor was in control "when she (Evrard) was in the bathtub. When she was at knifepoint...When he was cutting her...When he was terrorizing her."
He ended by saying that Mark Taylor is now not in control. That only the jury is, and that he deserves "no less than to be held accountable for his actions."
On Wednesday, Taylor had a difficult time looking up as his sister, Denise Marshall, testified about the events that led to the death of Casondra Evrard in December, 2010. Marshall was dressed in a prison jumpsuit, as she has already entered a guilty plea on a number of charges, including complicity to kidnapping.
Marshall said it was her sister-in-law, Jamie Taylor, who spoke of harming Casondra Evrard after the Taylor's daughter Jasmine had been hospitalized. Jasmine reportedly told her family that she had been raped; that Evrard knew it was going to happen, and had helped arrange it.
Marshall testified that Jamie Taylor asked her to ride along to Evrard's home on December 10, 2010, so Taylor could invite Evrard back to their home for dessert. Marshall said her brother, defendant Mark Taylor, objected, saying, "Today is not the day." But she said Jamie Taylor insisted.
Marshall knew there was no dessert to be served. Rather, while answering questions from prosecutor Raymond McGee, Marshall acknowledged that she knew Evrard may be harmed; that Jamie Taylor had said she wanted to question Evrard about daughter Jasmine's situation, and would "beat the answers out of her if she had to."
Once they returned to the Taylor home, Denise Marshall said that Jamie Taylor confronted Evrard, saying, "Come here. I want to talk to you," and the two moved to the back of the trailer. She said Mark Taylor announced that he wanted to leave. It was around this time that Denise Marshall walked outside to the front of the house. Because she moved outside, she said she didn't know exactly what was happening in the Taylor home or who was doing it.
Prosecutor McGee said to her that, even though she was outside on the front porch, "You could hear things, couldn't you." He asked if she heard yelling, and she said she didn't. Instead, she said she heard "scuffling."
When asked if she saw Mark or Jamie Taylor leave the trailer, she said "no". Then McGee said, "You sure didn't see Casondra Evrard leave the trailer, did you?" Marshall said, "no".
She acknowledged that, in a police interview, she stated that she had "wussed out" regarding the events of December 10, 2010. McGee asked her what that meant. Marshall said, "...whatever was happening in the trailer." McGee asked, "What did you think was happening?" Marshall replied, "I thought she was being beat up."
During her testimony Wednesday as a witness for the defense, Denise Marshall stated that she never heard her brother, Mark, make statements about harming Casondra Evrard.
A neighbor of the Taylor's also testified Wednesday morning. He said he saw Denise Marshall crying on the front porch of the Taylor home on the afternoon of December 10, 2010: The day Evrard was killed.
The defense rested its case on Wednesday. Closing statements and jury instructions are scheduled for Thursday morning in McCracken Circuit Court.