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United States v. Taylor

September 5, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF
v.
REJON TAYLOR, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Curtis L. Collier Chief United States District Judge

Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

In Defendant Rejon Taylor's ongoing capital trial, the United States seeks to introduce a hearsay statement. Defendant opposes the statement's admission on the grounds that it violates the Confrontation Clause of the United States Constitution. Because the Court concludes the statement is testimonial and the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing rule, as announced in Giles v. California, 128 S.Ct. 2678 (June 25, 2008), is not satisfied, the Court rules the statement inadmissible.

I. RELEVANT FACTS

A. The Indictment

A Superseding Indictment (Court File No. 447) charges Defendant with:

(1) Carjacking Resulting in Death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2119(3) and 2(a) and (b);

(2) Firearms Murder During and in Relation to Carjacking, 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2(a) and (b);

(3) Kidnapping Resulting in Death, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1201(a)(1) and 2(a) and (b); and

(4) Firearms Murder During and in Relation to Kidnapping, 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2(a) and (b).

The government is seeking a sentence of death pursuant to the Federal Death Penalty Act,

18 U.S.C. §§ 3591-3598 (Court File No. 547).

B. Evidence at Trial

Defendant is accused of carjacking, kidnapping, and murdering Guy Luck. The government's theory, supported by evidence during the ongoing trial, is that Defendant had been responsible for various thefts and burglaries from Luck's house and other nearby residences in Atlanta, Georgia between 2001 and 2003. On August 6, 2003, Defendant along with co-defendants Sir Jack Matthews and Joey Marshall went to Luck's house with the intention of robbing him. After confronting Luck at gunpoint, Marshall guarded Luck while Defendant began looking through Luck's house. Marshall testified Defendant later told him there was a warrant or other document connected with Defendant's arrest on theft charges in another case, which suggested Luck could be a witness ...


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