NEW: Abduction Suspect Facing Murder Charges
LOVINGSTON (AP) — The suspect in the disappearance of Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy is now facing murder charges.
Randy Allen Taylor, of Lovingston, was indicted by a special grand jury last week on charges including first-degree murder, first-degree murder during commission of abduction and abduction with intent to defile, Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin said today.
A hearing was scheduled for 3 p.m. today, where Taylor was to be served with the new indictments. Martin did not provide any further details, citing a gag order in the case and Murphy's family didn't comment.
Taylor, 48, is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 3 on an abduction charge stemming from Murphy's disappearance.
The 17-year-old from Shipman was last seen Aug. 3 at a gas station in Lovingston. Authorities found her car several days later in a movie theater parking lot in Albemarle County.
Taylor, who is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, was arrested Aug. 11. He has maintained his innocence.
In August, defense lawyer Michael Hallahan told media outlets that Murphy was at Taylor's camper with another man on the night she disappeared.
He said Taylor bought marijuana from the man and smoked it with him. Hallahan said Murphy and the man left in separate cars. Murphy's family has disputed that claim.
Hallahan said Taylor didn't know the man but provided a description of him to investigators. After finding a strand of Murphy's hair in Taylor's camper eight days after she was last seen, authorities arrested him on an abduction charge, he said.