A 30-year-old Ogden man has been ordered to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge for the June 23 strangulation death of an 11-year-old Washington Terrace girl.
John Albert Taylor, who recently moved to Utah from Florida, appeared Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on the capital murder charge.Second Circuit Judge Parley Baldwin said there was enough evidence against Taylor and ordered the defendant to appear in 2nd District Court on July 26 to enter a plea. If convicted, Taylor could be sentenced to death.
Security was tight in the small courtroom as Weber County jailers sat throughout the crowd with their guns exposed.
Taylor is accused of sexually assaulting and killing Charla N. King in her Washington Terrace apartment. The nude body of the girl was found by her mother, Sharon King. A pair of panties was stuffed in the victim's mouth, and a telephone cord was wrapped around her neck.
Sometimes tearful, sometimes hostile and glaring at the defendant, King testified at the hearing that the last time she had seen her daughter alive was on the morning of June 23.
She said she woke up around 5 a.m. to get ready for work and that she let Charla's kitten out of her daughter's bedroom and then went inside the room to check on the girl.
"Then I kissed my daughter goodbye," she said wiping tears from her face.
King said she went to work and returned home about 3:30 that afternoon. She said she felt something was wrong when she walked inside because the apartment was quiet.
She said she walked back to her own bedroom, and there she found her daughter dead on her bed. "She was nude and she had my nightgown wrapped around her face," King said, noting that Charla's face was black and swollen and that a pair of panties was stuffed in her mouth. "I started screaming."
Assistant Utah Medical Examiner Sharon Schnittker told Baldwin that Charla had died from strangulation.
Duane Moyes, a criminologist with the Utah crime lab at Weber State College, testified that fingerprints taken from a telephone in King's bedroom positively matched those of prints taken from Taylor at the Weber County Jail.
Taylor had been staying with a sister at the same apartment complex where the victim had lived. He was arrested about a week after the murder at another sister's home in Ogden.