Trial underway for 2011 murder of Mt. Vernon cab driver

JEFERSON COUNTY — The jury trial for a 25-year-old man charged with the 2011 shooting death of a Mt. Vernon cab driver got underway this morning in Jefferson County Court with the jury selection.

Mark Taylor
(Source: JCSO)

Evidence in the case against Mark Taylor Jr., was already being entered after lunch as the trial moves forward.

Taylor is was initially charged with five counts first-degree murder in connection with the botched robbery and shooting death of 75-year-old cab driver Charles Ellis.

However, in September three of those counts were dismissed and Taylor is now being tried on the remaining two counts.

Three other defendants charged in connection with Ellis’ death include Christopher Wells, Damondros James, and Demandre Black.

Black was sentenced in October 2015 to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery with a firearm.

Wells, a juvenile at the time of the shooting, has gone through the judicial process. He has been charged as an adult, entered an open plea of guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced November 17.

James also entered an open plea of guilty to first-degree murder for his involvement in Ellis’ death and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

The plea agreements for all three required them to agree to testify against Taylor. However, James is now defying that agreement and is refusing to testify against Taylor.

Taylor’s trial is set to resume Wednesday morning.