John Albert Taylor on Tuesday became the first person sentenced to die in Weber County in 40 years.
Taylor was sentenced to die for the June 23 sexual assault and murder of 11-year-old Charla King, the first person to be sent to death row in Weber County in 40 years.The 30-year-old Ogden man showed no emotion when 2nd District Judge David Roth imposed the death sentence. Taylor was convicted of first-degree murder on Dec. 5, and the penalty hearing took less than two days to complete.
The body of King was found in her Washington Terrace apartment by her mother, Sharon King. A pair of panties had been stuffed in her mouth and a telephone cord wrapped around her neck.
Taylor was arrested a few days later after his fingerprints were found on the bottom of the telephone. He had been living in the same apartment complex as the victim.
Taylor has maintained throughout his arrest, trial and penalty hearing that he did not kill the girl. He said he had been in the apartment only to commit a burglary.
In imposing the death penalty, Roth said that the aggravating facts surrounding the murder and Taylor's character outweighed the mitigating circumstances.
He called the murder of a child a "brutal act" and said that the evidence revealed that the defendant not only sexually assaulted King but also had raped his sister when he was a teenager and assaulted other young girls.
Roth also said that Taylor had bragged to another relative that he was an accomplished liar and that he would have no remorse if he killed someone.
The judge said that he also based his decision on the fact that Taylor had been committed to a sexual offenders program in Florida when he was a teenager and that the defendant had spent time in prison on a burglary conviction.
No evidence was shown that any mitigating circumstances outweighed the aggravating facts in the case, Roth continued, even though some evidence was given that Taylor had had an "unfortunate childhood."
Following Roth's verdict, the victim's mother said she felt the death penalty was an appropriate sentence.
"I'm relieved that it's over with," Sharon King said.
Weber County Attorney Reed Richards also said he felt the death penalty was appropriate in this case, and he felt Roth followed the law in imposing the sentence.
"This individual (Taylor) has no redeeming qualities," Reed said. "He's dangerous."
Defense attorneys Martin Gravis and Don Redd could not be reached for comment following the verdict. Taylor's case will be automatically appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.