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Randy Allen Taylor made his second appearance in court in Nelson County.
Randy Allen Taylor
Friday, August 23, 2013
LOVINGSTON - The man accused of abducting a Nelson County teenager waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday, after a judge ordered him to be held without bond.
Randy Allen Taylor, 48, made his second appearance in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court since he was charged 12 days ago with abduction in the disappearance of Alexis Murphy.
Alexis, 17, has been missing since Aug. 3, when family believed she planned to drive to Lynchburg to go shopping.
Taylor's bond hearing was initially ruled closed to the public, but Judge A. Ellen White vacated her earlier order on a procedural issue that the notification wasn't handled properly.
Attorney Craig Meritt successfully argued White should open the hearing, but conceded Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin could move to close the hearing when he had to present evidence that could jeopardize the investigation.
Defense attorney Michael Hallahan argued in favor of his motion for bond, saying up until the bond hearing, "I haven't even heard enough evidence to justify a magistrate swearing out a warrant."
He said he has identified another person as having seen Murphy more recently than Taylor and has given that information to law enforcement.
He said of Taylor, "he may be a suspect, but he's not the culprit."
Martin asked to close the hearing before making the commonwealth's case against bond.
The hearing was opened again for the attorneys' closing statements.
Hallahan admitted a presumption against bond existed since abduction is a serious felony and Taylor's criminal history includes a recent probation violation.
But, he said, the commonwealth's case is weak, adding the pending probation violation case against Taylor related to restitution, which could be cleared up "in a matter of days."
He said the evidence Martin presented Thursday "doesn't even come close to making out an abduction charge."