Suspect in UK chef's death won't fight extradition from Texas

Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor

A man arrested in Texas will not fight extradition to Kentucky to face a murder charge in the death of Alex Johnson, 32, who went missing Dec. 20 from his home on North Hanover Avenue and whose body was later recovered from the Kentucky River.

Robert Markham Taylor, 28, of Lexington has been charged with murder in Johnson's death. He also faces drug charges in Pharr, Texas, where he was arrested last week.

The Fayette County sheriff's office issued a news release Thursday saying deputies received notification from Hidalgo County, Texas, that Taylor has signed his waiver of extradition. Authorities have authorized Taylor's extradition to Fayette County, the news release said.

Taylor is being held in the Hidalgo County jail in Edinburg, Texas, as a fugitive based on warrants issued by Lexington police for charges of murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

Police have said that Taylor and Johnson knew each other and that Johnson's slaying was not random.

Timothy Ballard, 42, was charged last week with complicity to kidnapping and tampering with evidence. His case has been waived to a grand jury.

Johnson, a chef at the University of Kentucky, disappeared after his girlfriend said he ended a phone conversation by saying he needed to answer the door at his home. Family and friends publicized his disappearance for weeks, including creating a Facebook page and putting up billboards, in hopes of finding him alive.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader