A half-sister of a convicted first-degree murderer testified Monday that her brother was sent to a sex offenders program when he was 16 because he had some problems with young girls.

Leslie Beale, 32, flew in from Florida to testify for the state during the penalty hearing of her brother, John Albert Taylor, convicted earlier this month of sexually assaulting and strangling an 11-year-old Washington Terrace girl.Charla N. King's nude body was found with panties stuffed in her mouth and a telephone cord wrapped around her neck. Taylor was arrested a few days after the murder when his fingerprints were found on the telephone.

Taylor, 30, could be sentenced to die or serve life in prison for the June 23 murder. Second District Judge David Roth will decide punishment.

Beale described her childhood with Taylor as one that was strict, pointing out that their step-father would sometimes beat them with a belt.

"My (step) father was pretty strict. He had just come back from Vietnam," Beale testified.

She said that her stepfather was rather harsh on Taylor at times because more was expected of her brother. "He expected Johnny to be a man," Beale said.

Beale also said Taylor spent three years in a sex-offenders program in a Florida Mental Hospital, where he remained for three years. She said her brother also spent time in a Florida prison on a burglary conviction.

Taylor served about nine years in prison before moving to Ogden last December, she said.

Laurie Galli, Taylor's sister, who testified during the trial that she told police her brother might be the man who killed King, said Monday that her parents committed Taylor to the state hospital after he raped her three times. She said that the rapes occurred when she was about 12 or 13 years old.

Another half-sister, Tresa Taylor, Ogden, told Roth she had talked to her brother about the murder before he was arrested.

"I asked Johnny why a man would do that to a child, a little girl," she said. "Johnny told me it was a power kick."

Weber County Attorney Reed Richards said in opening statements that he was seeking the death penalty because he thought Taylor was dangerous and that the defendant had been in the court system most of his life.

Not since December, 1949, has a Weber County jury or judge sent a person to death row.