RIPLEY, WV (WOWK/WVNS) – The jury has found Benjamin Taylor guilty of the rape and murder of 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer.
The jury deliberated for around two hours. Taylor is found guilty on charges of first-degree murder, death of a child by child abuse, and sexual abuse by a guardian.
Emmaleigh Barringer was assaulted and killed on October 2, 2016 at a home in Fairplain, Jackson County.
Taylor, of Cottageville, was dating the mother of Emmaleigh at the time of the assault.
During the trial, Taylor told the jury about what he remembers of the night that Emmaleigh was brutally assaulted. He said after drinking all day, he went into the basement to do laundry. He said, at some point, he blacked out and woke back up holding the baby.
The prosecution pointed out a number of discrepancies between Taylor’s testimony and what he told investigators at the time. Taylor acknowledged those discrepancies, in many cases, with no explanation. At one point, Taylor admitted to being unsure if he committed the crime or not.
Taylor’s defense attorney asked, “You don’t remember whether you did or did not rape or murder this child do you?” To which, Taylor responded, “I do not.”
Also during the trial, the jury heard from a number of character witnesses called to the stand by the defense, including Taylor’s parents, brother, ex-girlfriends, and others, testifying on his behalf.