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Ex-girlfriend of accused testifies at murder trial

Derrick C. Taylor

Derrick C. Taylor

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Updated: December 30, 2013 12:03PM

A former girlfriend of Beach Park resident Derrick Taylor testified in his murder trial that he came home the night of March 11, 2012, told her to close the blinds and asked her for a garbage bag for the clothes he was wearing.

She said she also noticed red stains on his wrists.

Taylor is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joy Lee, 48, of Bristol, Wis., on Trumpet Drive in the Trumpet Industrial Park in Zion. His trial, which will include the showing of a four-hour videotape of his interrogation at the Zion Police Department, began with opening arguments Tuesday and is expected to run at least through Friday, Nov. 1.

Following testimony from the first officers to arrive at the bloody crime scene, a woman who was seeing Taylor at the time testified she had spent much of the day cleaning at his residence March 11 and that when he arrived home, he told her to shut the blinds and asked for garbage bags for the clothes he was wearing. He had red stains on his wrists, she said.

The woman testified that he then asked her to take the SUV he had been driving to a garage on another lot in the trailer park in which he lived.

After Taylor’s arrest the morning after the murder, forensic investigators found blood in the sink, washing machine and shower of Taylor’s home, according to testimony. Blood was also found on the steering wheel of the SUV he was alleged to have been driving the night of the murder.

In opening arguments, Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews said Lee was in an abusive relationship with Taylor, and that she provided him with prescription medicine to sell to a third party for profit.

Mathews said Taylor sent text messages asking Lee to meet him the evening of March 11, and that he was upset with her and planned to punish her. Mathews said Taylor beat her “savagely” on a quiet stretch of Trumpet Drive and then used a sharp object to slash her so severely that her head was almost severed.

Defense attorney Louis Pissios said in opening arguments that the woman who claimed to have seen red stains on his wrists when he arrived home also said it was too dark for her to identify the clothes he was wearing.

Pissios also said the woman had changed her statement to police three times, and suggested police provided her with facts to make the statement more specific and detail-oriented.

Pissios said Taylor had no motive to kill Lee because she provided him sexual favors and the pills that made up part of his income.

Prosecutors said Taylor is caught in lies and inconsistencies in his statements to police, and that he was suffering injuries to his hand and shoulders, attributing his hand injury to punching a door in his house in a fit of anger over a broken appliance.

His former girlfriend said the damage to the door had happened long before the week of the murder.

Once the prosecution rests its case, the defense will present its case before closing arguments. Then the case will be given to the jury for deliberations.

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