SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Caddo Parish jury has found a man accused of helping a friend murder his pregnant ex-girlfriend guilty of manslaughter.
Marcus Taylor, 26, was on trial for second degree murder, accused of helping Lamondre Tucker kill his estranged girlfriend, 18-year-old Tavia Sills, in November 2008. She was 4 months pregnant at the time. Tucker was convicted in March 2011 and remains on death row.
During the trial, prosecutor Dale Cox told the jury that both Tucker and Taylor lured Sills to a remote lake in North Shreveport for a fishing trip. There, Cox says, Tucker shot Sills 3 times and she was doused with lighter fluid. Cox told the jury that's when Sills began begging for her life, saying "Don't do this. I love you. Leave me. I won't say anything."
A couple that was fishing found her body 3 days later in a remote lake.
During opening statements in Marcus Taylor's trial on Wednesday, prosecutors told jurors that Taylor did not fire the shots that killed Sills, but that he did help plan her murder and help carry it out.
During Tucker's trial, it came out that Tucker believed the child Sills was carrying was his, but DNA evidence showed that it was not.
Taylor is accused of providing the gun used to shoot Sills, and Cox says he has already admitted to detectives that he was there, and that he and Tucker had discussed the murder.
The evidence presented on opening day was graphic and included testimony and crime scene photographs of Sills' body that had already begun decomposing by the time it was found.
Sill's mother, Vicki Britain, sat through all of that testimony, and the descriptive opening statements. "As a mother you want it to be over with, to have the family go back through this again… it's really hard," said Britain.
Taylor's defense attorney called his client "mentally retarded" and told the jury that Tucker was the monster, and that he manipulated Taylor. Taylor has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
After calling a psychiatrist to testify Thursday to refute Taylor's claim on insanity, the state rested its case late Thursday afternoon.
The jury began deliberating around 7:30 p.m. and returned the verdict on the lesser charge of manslaughter shortly after 10 p.m.