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`I THINK HE NEEDS TO BE PITIED'

Published: Sunday, Dec. 31 1995 12:00 a.m. MST

If Sherron King could ask one thing of the man who killed her daughter, it would be for a confession before he's executed next month.

"I would have more respect for him," she said, "if I thought he showed any remorse."But, she adds, "I know that (an admission) is not a possibility."

John Albert Taylor is condemned to die Jan. 26 for raping and killing her 11-year-old daughter Charla Nicole King. He has consistently and adamantly denied killing her.

Christmas - and her birthday - were Charla King's favorite holidays, and every yuletide season is difficult for Sherron King. But this year and this Christmas have been especially painful as media attention again focuses on her, her daughter and the man who killed Charla.

Three weeks ago Taylor asked his attorney to end appeals of his case just days after he lost a fight for a new trial. Taylor said he was tired of court battles and tired of living in lockup 23 hours a day. A judge scheduled an execution date that is now less than a month away.

Much of the attention has focused on Taylor and the method of death he chose. In Utah, the condemned have a choice between lethal injection and firing squad. He picked the latter.

There has been a lot of discussion, both locally and nationally, about the method and whether it's too barbaric or too inhumane for modern society. Such criticism has angered King.

Noticeably absent in the debate has been mention of her daughter and the way she was killed. King found Charla dead in their Ogden apartment June 23, 1989 - just one day before her 12th birthday.

"I came home from work late this time," she recalls, "because I took the wrong way. I though it would be faster, but I ran into a traffic jam."

King opened the locked door expecting to greet her daughter. They'd been fighting about housework, something they both hated to do.

"I saw her key laying on the side of the (end table). I thought, `That's funny; the door was locked. Why would she lock herself out?'

"I remember how quiet it was. You could hear a pin drop, it was so quiet. I yelled at her, thinking maybe she's there and I just don't see her but nobody answered. . . . I turned on the TV and walked back toward my bedroom to change out of my work clothes."

That's where she found Charla, lying naked on her bed.

"My nightgown was wrapped around her face," King said, her voice cracking with emotion. "I could see her feet were black. I think I started screaming."

To this day, it bothers the 47-year-old Brigham City native that her neighbors heard both Charla's screams - and her own after she found the body - but did nothing.

"I called 911 but I couldn't talk," she said. "I pulled her off the bed (to administer CPR) . . . I don't think she wanted to come back. I think what had happened to her was so horrible that she couldn't deal with it."

King saw blood on the bed and even before authorities told her, she knew her little girl had been raped. Charla, she said, "spoke to my heart and told me what happened."

As paramedics took Charla's body away, a police officer told Sherron King that the girl was dead.

King called her stepfather from the hospital. He picked her up, and she returned to her Washington Terrace Apartment, only to move out within the next few days.

Instead of taking her daughter to Lagoon for her birthday as she'd planned, Sherron King buried her daughter the Wednesday after she was killed.

Two days later Taylor was arrested for the killing. His fingerprints were found on the telephone from which the cord was taken and used to strangle Charla. He said he was in the apartment only to steal money, which he said was under the telephone.

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