Lexington police are looking for a second culprit in the May 25 shooting death of Jered Taylor, a Lexington police detective testified Thursday. Taylor was killed after a drug deal "went south," detective Chris Schoonover said.
Taylor, 26, was shot four times in the upper body, and police found a shoe print or boot print on his upper body, Schoonover testified Thursday in Fayette District Court. Police also found duct tape on Taylor's pants, his head and on one wrist — indications that he had been bound before he was shot, the detective said.
The new details were discussed during a preliminary hearing for Darryl William Stewart Jr., 24, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and tampering with evidence.
Fayette District Judge Megan Lake Thornton found probable cause to send Stewart's case to a grand jury for possible indictment.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Police determined that Taylor had been assaulted at 653 Carver Road but escaped by jumping through a front window.
A witness told police that he heard Taylor scream near 640 Carver Road, and then he saw two men fire handguns at Taylor. The witness, whom Schoonover did not identify, said he heard six to eight shots. After the shooting, the two men turned and walked toward 653 Carver Road. Both men wore white T-shirts and white ball caps.
The witness could not identify the shooters because it was too dark, Schoonover said during cross-examination by defense attorney Russell Baldani.
Baldani asked Schoonover to identify the witness, but Judge Thornton said she would not force the detective to name the person at this time.
A cellphone found at 653 Carver Road was running an app that monitors police dispatch transmissions. Police also found a receipt from Wal-Mart for two rolls of duct tape bought on the day of the shooting, Schoonover said.
The man who bought the duct tape told police that he was asked by Stewart to buy the rolls, and he later delivered the tape to Stewart.
Police searching the area near the shooting found a Kel-Tec 9mm handgun near a storm drain. Police have not determined who owned the gun.
The day after the shooting, Stewart had told others that Taylor had sought to buy an illegal narcotic from him. "The deal went south," Schoonover said, and Taylor was bound with duct tape and beaten before he escaped and got away.
Stewart, in a police interview in which he waived his Miranda rights, said that his vehicle was found near the crime scene because his cousin had a graduation party nearby. The police investigation determined that there had been a party in the area, but that Stewart had not attended, Schoonover said.
Stewart "denied knowing anybody specifically in the neighborhood," Schoonover said. "He knew of the people that lived at 653 Carver but had no reason to be in there, and denied ever being in that residence."
But Stewart's fingerprints were found on a Doritos bag found at that address and elsewhere in the living room, Schoonover said. No drugs were found there.
Stewart said he did not know Taylor personally, but he said they might have been incarcerated together at one time. After executing a search warrant, police took a cheek swab from Stewart so his DNA could be compared to other DNA evidence collected by police.
Judge Thornton left intact Stewart's $1 million bond.