RIPLEY, W.Va. (WTAP/WSAZ) - (WSAZ) UPDATE 3/14/19 8:20 p.m. -
Thursday marked day two of the trial for a Jackson County man accused of raping and murdering a 10-month-old girl.
In October 2016, investigators say Emmaleigh Barringer's mom found her unresponsive and covered in blood when she was in Benjamin Taylor's care. Emmaleigh died a few days later. Taylor was dating the mother, Amanda Adkins, at the time.
Day one of the trial, on Wednesday, consisted of narrowing in on members of the jury, opening statements, and a very emotional testimony from the victim's mother. Day two, Thursday, was more about the investigation.
Several officers from different law enforcement agencies took the witness stand to testify. A lot of the questions that were asked were technical: who got to the scene at what time, what they saw, etc.
Most of the officers had consistent memories of that day and the crime scene. They mentioned how hysterical Adkins was on scene, and how Taylor kept lifting up his shirt to show the officers he had dried blood on his chest and torso, but didn't know where it came from.
Body camera footage and audio recordings of Taylor were shown as evidence in court Thursday. Pictures of the crime scene were also displayed, and a member of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, who evaluated the crime scene, testified. He said processing the scene took several hours.
The defense attorney for Taylor, Tim Rosinsky, has been consistent in saying his client has been falsely accused. He said the investigation should not have just been focused on Taylor, saying investigators should have interviewed neighbors.
Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office responded, "This particular crime scene didn't involve what you called the neighborhood. Matter of fact, it is was even more restrictive than the residence itself. It was more restricted than just one level of the residence; it was restricted to one room and particularly one area of that room."
The pictures of the crime scene in court showed the blood and other evidence was just in one corner of the basement.
Mellinger was also called to come to the scene around 5 a.m.the day of the crime. On the stand, he recalled what that moment was like.
"He says, 'sorry to wake you, but I think I have a dead baby.' And you know how things are when you wake up in the middle of the night, you kind of rub your eyes. I asked him to repeat what he just said. He said, 'I think I have a dead baby, I need you to come out.' He said he was on scene here and there was an infant child and he believed it had been sexually assaulted. I just kind of sat there for a second trying to process what he was telling me."
The trial is expected to pick back up at 9 a.m. Friday. Mellinger said still to come is DNA evidence and jail phone call records from Taylor.
UPDATE: 3/13/19 10:00 p.m.
Day one of the trial for West Virginia versus Benjamin Taylor began Wednesday with opening statements from each side.
Taylor was indicted on five counts of murder, felony murder, death of an infant, sexual assault and sexual assault by a person of trust.
The prosecutor began by telling the jury they would hear about how 10-month old Emmaleigh Barringer died, but not about the life she was supposed to live.
Taylor's lawyer opened by saying what happened to Emmaleigh was terrible, but Taylor has been falsely accused.
The trial is being held before Judge Craig Tatterson. The jury is made up of seven women and nine men.
Throughout the course of the day 10 witnesses testified including Amanda Adkins, Emmaleigh's mother. She gave an emotional testimony recounting things that happened between October 2 and October 5 of 2016. Jurors heard 911 recordings from the night her daughter was abused. Adkins cried on the stand as the tapes played.
Others to take the stand included law enforcement, first responders, 911 dispatch and medical professionals.
The day ended with the chief medical examiner of West Virginia testifying to the jury a series of graphic photos of the girl’s body after the crime and during autopsy. He explained in detail the injuries she suffered and what can cause each type of injury.
The trial continues Thursday beginning at 10 am.
Update: 3/13/2019 11:15 a.m.
Opening statements have taken place in the murder trial for a Jackson County man accused in the 2016 death of a 10-month-old baby.
Testimony in the murder trial of Benjamin Taylor began late this morning, with the mother of murder victim, 10-month old Emmaleigh Barringer, taking the stand
The trial is being held before Judge Craig Tatterson.
UPDATE: 3/12/19 10:40 a.m.
The murder trial for a Jackson County man accused in the October 2016 death of a 10-month-old baby got underway Wednesday morning.
Benjamin Taylor, 34, of Cottageville, is charged with murder, sexual assault and child abuse in connection with the death of 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer.
Jury selection in the case in Jackson County Circuit Court was completed on Tuesday.
The case is being heard before Judge Craig Tatterson.
We have a reporter in the courtroom and will have updates online and during our on-air newscasts.
Updated: 3/11/2019 10:20 a.m.
Jury selection in the murder trial for Benjamin Taylor, charged with the death of 10-month old Emmaleigh Barringer, is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Jackson County.
It is not certain how long the jury selection process will last.
Taylor was indicted in late 2016 for the October death. His trial has been postponed several times since then.
Updated: 12/6/2018 10:30 a.m.
Another new trial date for a man accused in the 2016 death of a 10-month old girl in Jackson County.
The murder trial for Benjamin Taylor has been continued to March 12 in Jackson County.
A pre-trial hearing is set for January 23.
Updated: 7/26/2018 4:45 p.m.
The murder trial for Benjamin Taylor, charged with the death of 10-month old Emmaleigh Barringer, is now set for December 10 in Jackson County.
Updated: 7/13/2018 12:10 p.m.
A status hearing is scheduled July 26 before Circuit Court Judge Craig Tatterson, with the newly-appointed attorney for murder suspect Benjamin Taylor, at which time a new trial and pre-trial hearing date is to be set.
Updated: 6/1/2018 10:00 a.m.
Trial for Benjamin Taylor, accused of sexually assaulting and killing an infant in Jackson County, has been continued by Circuit Court Judge Craig Tatterson.
An order filed at the Jackson County Circuit Clark's office says Judge Tatterson granted a motion from Taylor's attorney to withdraw from the case. The judge is to appoint new a new defense attorney.
No new trial date has been set.
A pre-trial for a man accused of sexually assaulting and killing an infant took place Thursday afternoon in Jackson County.
32 year-old Benjamin Taylor of Cottageville is charged with murder, sexual assault and child abuse in connection with the death of 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer.
He was escorted into circuit court at the Jackson County Court House Thursday in a bullet proof vest and helmet. No cameras or recording devices were allowed in the court room.
Investigators say in October of 2016, Emmaleigh's mom found the baby in the basement of her apartment unresponsive and covered in blood. Investigators say Taylor was the mom's boyfriend.
After a few announcements, the state lobbied to close the court room to the public and media, stating that lab results that would be dissected during the pre-trial would be harmful for future jurors.
At that time our reporter was escorted from the court room with other media and family.
Taylor's trial is set for June 4th.
UPDATE 11/1/2016 10:30 a.m.
A grand jury in Jackson County has indicted 32-year-old Benjamin Taylor of Cottageville in the death of 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer.
Taylor is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, death of a child by child abuse, first-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a guardian. The felony-murder charge means the murder is alleged to have taken place during a sexual assault.
The baby died last month at a Charleston hospital, days after Taylor allegedly sexually assaulted her in the basement at a residence in Ripley that Taylor shared with the baby’s mother, Amanda Adkins.
Taylor was arraigned on Oct. 12, at which time a magistrate found probable cause to send the case to Jackson County Circuit Court.
He currently is at the South Central Regional Jail.