The man who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the William Taylor murder case testified in court on Tuesday.
Commonwealth Attorney Karen Greene Blondell called Jeremiah (Jeremy) Evans to the stand. Evans pleaded guilty several months ago to criminal facilitation to commit murder in the case. He allegedly drove the defendants to Taylor’s home the night of the alleged assault.
Evans testified Tuesday that on the day of the assault, he, along with Brian Hatfield and Jeremy Murray, hauled scrap metal all day long. After getting drugs, the three saw Debbie Partin walking and took her to the end of Taylor’s driveway, according to testimony.
Evans said after staying at Lucas Maiden’s house for about 45 minutes and dropping Murray off at his house, he and Hatfield picked Partin up at the end of Taylor’s driveway. Evans testified Partin had a $100 bill.
According to testimony, Evans, Hatfield and Partin went back to Lucas Maiden’s house before going to Hillside Market to get gas. Eventually, the three made it back to Lucas Maiden’s house once again.
Evans testified he let Hatfield use his truck to go to his house. Upon his return, he had Candy Maiden with him. He said Partin was the one who asked him to take her, Candy Maiden and Hatfield to Taylor’s home.
“I dropped them off at the end of his driveway,” said Evans. “Then, I left and went to Holly Brook and sit and waited on them.”
Evans testified he didn’t feel like it took them long after he dropped them off before they were already on their way back.
“Everybody was happy like they had borrowed some money,” said Evans about the way the three defendants acted after leaving Taylor’s home.
Evans testified he did not go into Taylor’s house or assault him.
According to Evans’ testimony, it was the next day when he heard about the alleged assault on Taylor. When he asked Hatfield if he heard about the alleged assault, Evans said Hatfield turned “white as a ghost.”
Evans testified Hatfield said he “didn’t mean to hit (Taylor) that hard.” Evans said Hatfield threatened him to not to tell anyone.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Sam Cox, Candy Maiden’s attorney, pointed out inconsistent statements made by Evans from previous interviews with the police.
One of those statements involved the amount of money Partin had when she left Taylor’s house. In his original statement, Evans claimed Partin had $200. Evans testified Tuesday she only had a $100 bill.
Cox also pointed out he never mentioned to the police that Partin not only washed her clothes at Lucas Maiden’s house but also washed his clothes as well.
In his original statement, Evans never mentioned anything about Candy Maiden being with him, Hatfield or Partin. Evans testified Tuesday he dropped Candy Maiden off at Taylor’s house, along with Partin and Hatfield.
Cox brought up a letter he wrote to his family. According to testimony, Evans said he had nothing to do with the assault. Then Evans testified he pleaded guilty to facilitation to commit murder.
According to the plea agreement, Evans, acting with knowledge that the other suspects in the case committed or intended to commit a crime, engaged in conduct which knowingly provided all three people with the opportunity to commit murder and in fact aided by transporting them to and from Taylor’s home.
“I drove them down there to borrow money, not to hurt anybody,” said Evans.
The cross-examination of Evans will continue today.
It is alleged Taylor was brutally beaten during the robbery at his home in the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 2008.
After the robbers fled, Taylor walked more than 100 yards to the nearest neighbor’s house for help.
Taylor was sent to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was initially admitted to Intensive Care. Taylor’s condition was briefly upgraded to stable before being downgraded. He died approximately one week after the attack.
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