Staff Photo by D. Patrick Harding -- Rejon Taylor, shown in this file photo arriving at the Federal courthouse for the second day of the sentencing phase of his trial, was convicted in the 2003 kidnapping and murder of an Atlanta restaurant owner.
A federal judge formalized the sentence today of a young man condemned to death in late October.
No execution date has been set for Rejon Taylor, 24, although prosecutors initially expected a date to be set at this morning’s court hearing.
U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier said an execution date and location will most likely be set by officials with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Defense attorney are planning an extensive appeal and already have filed a motion for a new trial.
A jury convicted Mr. Taylor in early September after a lengthy trial over the 2003 kidnapping and killing of an Atlanta restaurant owner. In a separate hearing, the defense sought to convince the jury to spare Mr. Taylor’s life and sentence him to life in prison instead.
In late October, the jury unanimously sentenced Mr. Taylor to death. The case was the first-ever death penalty proceeding in Eastern Tennessee’s federal courts district.
Federal prosecutors had sought the death penalty based upon the belief that Mr. Taylor had meticulously planned the killing of his victim.
Guy Luck, a wealthy Atlanta business owner, had been the target of Mr. Taylor’s elaborate identity theft scheme for at least a year before authorities say the defendant led the charge to kill him. They claimed Mr. Taylor wanted to kill Mr. Luck because of the belief that the victim had found out about the identity theft scheme and was talking to police about it.
The crime involved two of Mr. Taylor’s friends, who pleaded guilty in 2006 and testified against him at the trial.
See tomorrow’s Times Free Press for complete details.