A 54th State District Court jury of seven men and five women deliberated about 90 minutes before convicting Robert Allen Byrd of capital murder in the beating and slashing death of Dana Leigh Taylor.
A family found 39-year-old Taylor’s badly decomposed body April 26, 2006, in a wooded area just north of Elm Mott. Prosecution witnesses, including three members of the Aryan Circle and Byrd’s ex-wife, testified that Byrd told them he killed Taylor because he thought she was “snitching” to law enforcement about the group’s criminal activities.
Byrd, 34, testified Wednesday that he didn’t kill Taylor, saying he loved her like a sister, had helped her get off drugs and dropped her off very much alive in Ross in northern McLennan County with some of her friends.
“Obviously, we think the jury did their jobs and took matters very seriously,” said Assistant District Attorney Melanie Walker, who prosecuted the case with Crawford Long.
“They made the right decision. Honestly, I have to say that the sheriff’s department put together an excellent circumstantial case, where it didn’t leave much room for the jury to have a reasonable doubt.”
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Joplin native/white supremacist sentenced to life without parole for Texas murder
A Waco, Texas jury sentenced Robert Allen Byrd, a white supremacist and a Joplin native, to life in prison without parole Wednesday for kidnapping and murdering a woman: