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PRINTS ON PHONE AND CORD ARE SIMILAR, LAB EXPERT SAYS

Published: Friday, Dec. 1 1989 12:00 a.m. MST

A fingerprint expert at the Weber State College crime laboratory testified Thursday that the person who wrapped a telephone cord around Charla King's neck and killed her probably was the same person who left his fingerprints behind on the telephone.

Duane Moyes testified during the first-degree murder trial of John Albert Taylor, 30, Ogden. Taylor is accused of murdering the 11-year-old girl on June 23 by strangling her with a telephone cord.The young girl was found by her mother in their Washington Terrace apartment. She had been sexually assaulted before she died. Her nude body was found with panties stuffed in her mouth and a cord wrapped tightly around her neck.

Taylor was arrested a few days later after three fingerprints from his left hand were found on the bottom of the telephone.

Defense attorney Don Redd said that Taylor will testify on his own behalf and admit to being in the apartment, but only to burglarize it. Taylor will testify that someone else must have killed the girl after he left the empty apartment, Redd said.

The case is being heard by 2nd District Judge David Roth, who could impose the death penalty if he finds Taylor guilty of capital murder.

Moyes said that after examining the telephone and cord, he believes that the telephone was picked up off the dresser, the cord cut with a knife and then yanked from the wall. He said he believes the killer then strangled King with the cord. The criminologist said the cord wrapped around the neck matches perfectly with the cut cord from the telephone.

"It's my belief that the same person who put their prints on the phone also cut the cord," Moyes said.

But under cross-examination, Moyes said that it is possible that the person who left his prints on the telephone was not the same person who cut the cord and strangled King.

James Gaskill, director of the WSC crime lab, also said he thought the man who left his fingerprints on the phone also strangled the girl.

He said that after examining items found at the crime scene, he could find no evidence that anyone other than Taylor committed the murder. The director also said that he could find no other evidence to link Taylor to the killing.

"The only thing we have is the fingerprints on the phone to connect John Taylor to the murder scene," Gaskill said.

He also said he could find no evidence in the apartment to indicate a burglary had been committed there.

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