Steven Allen Taylor faces life in prison after being found guilty
Friday of first-degree felony murder.
A jury of 10 men and two women sided with prosecutors in determining Taylor had shaken his son, 2-month-old Cory Taylor, violently enough to cause his death.
Taylor, 20, was also found guilty of aggravated child abuse.
He will be sentenced at 9 a.m., June 1, but the murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence.
Members of Taylor’s family wailed uncontrollably as the verdict was read.
Cory’s mother, Brittney Beavar-Wiley, was led from the courtroom by bailiff’s when her outburst interrupted the court proceedings.
Assistant State Attorney Bobby Elmore called the events surrounding Cory Taylor’s death “tragic.”
“This is a tragic case, as all homicide cases are tragic,” Elmore said.
He said the Taylor case was particularly troubling in that a 2-month-old child lost his life and a family was ripped apart “by a few seconds of anger.”
Elmore called in a handful of medical experts during the week-long trial.
Some had examined Cory Taylor’s body and others professed knowledge in shaken baby syndrome.
Elmore noted in closing arguments Friday that all the experts had confirmed the same cause of death for the infant.
“Shaking with blunt impact. Abusive head trauma,” Elmore repeated three times, quoting the experts. “All of them say that the evidence is that that child was shaken, that child was impacted, causing a fracture, and that child died as a result.”
Taylor’s attorney, Clint Davis, was not available for comment after the verdict. But outside the courtroom he told an inconsolable Beavar-Wiley that he intended to “keep on fighting” on Taylor’s behalf.
Davis presented his own version of events to jurors Friday during his closing argument.
He reminded the jurors that doctors had determined Cory had suffered a temporal lobe fracture.
He tried to convince the panel that the child had shown signs of being sickly, perhaps as a result from whatever injury had resulted in the temporal lobe fracture.
Davis argued that there was no direct evidence of Steve Taylor physically abusing the child or evidence of him ever hurting anyone.
“It’s the evidence. It’s the evidence that you must look at in this trial,” he said.
Davis argued that perhaps Cory had died from an injury that couldn’t be detected, but had proved fatal over time.
Davis also questioned the credibility of a couple of the expert witnesses Elmore had brought in to testify.