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Sentencing postponed for man convicted of brutal stabbing death

Derrick C. Taylor

Derrick C. Taylor

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Updated: February 12, 2014 6:11AM

Derrick Taylor of Beach Park, who faces 20 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder in the beating and slashing death of Joy Lee of Wisconsin, is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 20.

Meanwhile, Taylor’s stepfather and former girlfriend have both requested the return of property seized by police in connection with the case, including a blood-stained truck that helped seal Taylor’s fate at trial.

Officials and defense attorneys said Taylor’s former girlfriend asked for the return of her laptop that was seized from Taylor’s Beach Park Home. And his stepfather has asked for the return of a truck that was impounded because Taylor drove it the night that Lee was killed.

DNA testing on the vehicle found blood matching Lee’s on the steering wheel of the truck, prompting Taylor — who had consistently denied being at the scene of the Zion murder — to tell the trial jury that he had arrived at the scene of the murder. He told the jury he intended to meet with Lee, found her body lying in a pool of blood, touched her and then fled in fear after realizing she was dead.

The jury convicted Taylor just hours after that testimony.

Prosecutors 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. She also provided him with sex, and he set her up with prostitution work in North Chicago, according to texts obtained by the prosecution from the phones of Taylor and Lee.

Evidence showed Taylor sent text messages asking Lee to meet him in the Trumpet Park Industrial area in Zion that evening, and that he was upset with her and planned to punish her. Prosecutors 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.

He was arrested the morning after the murder at his home.

Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews said the state is requesting that the truck and computer remain with authorities until after the sentencing process has been completed.

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