A woman arrested and charged in a 2016 robbery and death of an Elizabethtown man could face the death penalty when the much-delayed case goes to trial in October.
Taliyah Rochea (also spelled Roshea in court records) Woods, 21, of Radcliff could become the second woman on Kentucky’s death row. Only Virginia Caudill, sentenced in Fayette County in 2000, is currently on death row.
Woods is charged with complicity to commit murder, a Class A felony punishable by 20 to 50 years or life in prison; two counts of complicity to commit first-degree robbery, a Class B felony punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison; complicity to commit second-degree assault, a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison; and complicity to tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison.
She was arrested Jan. 30, 2016, and remains in custody. Woods had been convicted Nov. 20, 2014, of multiple charges of complicity to robbery, burglary, complicity to burglary, wanton endangerment, fleeing police, unlawful transaction with a minor. It’s not immediately clear in state Corrections Department records if she was on parole at the time of the 2016 killing for which prosecutors want the death penalty. She is now serving her 2014 sentence of at least nine years.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Shane Young filed a notice of aggravating circumstances in the case, which allows for the death penalty should Woods be convicted of the Jan. 27, 2016, killing of Windell Jones, 22, inside his Westport Road townhouse.
If convicted, based on Young’s filing, Woods also could face life without parole or life without parole for 25 years, if a jury decides not to impose a death penalty.
Young said as long as an aggravating circumstance occurs at the time of a homicide, such as a robbery or burglary, the death penalty could be sought.
Woods is one of four arrested and indicted in the case. All face the same charges.
Monti Lopez-Olivera, 20, of Radcliff, accepted a 20-year plea deal in the case.
Tyheim Taylor and Braylond Buckler, both 18 and of Elizabethtown, also are charged in the case. Taylor and Buckler will be tried as adults even though they were 17 at the time.
Young has called the shooting death of Jones a “very coordinated” effort of individuals seeking money, drugs or both.
Earlier this month, Woods’ attorney, Audrey Woosnam, filed three motions with the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty in Kentucky.
The trial currently is set for Oct. 16. It previously was delayed in April and June of this year.
Young said although only one person shot Jones, all are being charged with the same crimes.
“According to laws in Kentucky, when you go to commit a robbery and you shoot someone, all are responsible for it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who pulled the trigger; it’s like everybody pulled the trigger.”
Jones was in his residence with another man when Jones answered the door just after midnight Jan. 27 and was shot from close range in the chest. He was pronounced dead at his home by the Hardin County Coroner’s Office. Young said the other man at the residence was not involved in the crime.
Among the evidence in the case, according to court documents, are 67 CDs of discovery evidence; interviews of 18 people, including all charged; DNA samples; bank account documents; pictures of burned debris; and cellphone records.
Jones was an employee of Roxie’s Restaurant in Elizabethtown at the time of the shooting.
Another person, Victoria Lambert, was labeled by Elizabethtown police as a “person of interest.” She has been interviewed by authorities and has not been charged.