Ripley, West Virginia: Benjamin Taylor, a West Virginia man has been convicted of sexually abusing and killing Emmaleigh Barringer, his girlfriend’s 10-month-old baby. A Jackson County Circuit Court jury on Tuesday found 33-year-old Benjamin Taylor of Cottageville guilty of first-degree murder, death of a child by child abuse and sexual abuse by a guardian or custodian.
The jury did not recommend mercy, meaning Taylor wouldn’t be eligible for parole.
A sheriff’s deputy testified last week Taylor had blood on his torso and a wet spot on his pants when officers went to the home in Fairplain in October 2016.
Taylor testified Monday he consumed several beers, remembered doing laundry and listening to music while the girl was under his care but could not recall what happened to the girl the night of her death.
A man convicted of raping and murdering a 10-month-old girl says he blacked out during the attack, then woke up holding the bleeding child. Benjamin Taylor, 33, claimed he did not remember how his girlfriend’s infant daughter, Emmaleigh Barringer, sustained severe internal trauma caused by the sex attack. He also claimed to have no idea how she suffered the severe blunt-force injuries to the head that ended up killing her. Taylor further claimed he could not recall washing the infant’s blood down a sink. Taylor told a jury in Jackson County, West Virginia on Tuessday that had been drinking all day before the gruesome October 2016 assault. He said the last thing he remembered was doing laundry – but a jury did not buy Taylor’s claims and found him guilty of murder, sexual abuse by a guardian, and causing death by sexual abuse.
‘What happened to Emmaleigh Barringer was almost incomprehensible. (Taylor) entered her, and he ripped her apart. When she cried out, he put his hand over her mouth to silence her. And when that didn’t work, he slammed her head against the floor,’ prosecutor Katie Franklin said, according to Jackson Newspapers. The jury followed their guilty verdict with a sentencing recommendation of no mercy for Taylor, who assaulted the infant sometime overnight between October 2 and October 3, 2016. That means he faces being jailed for life without parole when he is sentenced at a later date.
Amanda Adkins, Emmaleigh’s mother, woke up that morning and found Taylor crouched over the infant with no shirt and unbuttoned jeans. Emmaleigh was lying in a pile of blankets. ‘I asked him what he was doing, he said he was drying her off. I asked him why he was drying her off at 5 o’clock in the morning,’ Adkins testified. She said she noticed that their was something wrong with the girl’s face. She was ‘covered in blood’ and was ‘ice cold’ as she gasped for breath, said Franklin.
Adkins said she hit Taylor in the face and called 911 as she broke down in hysterics while she held Emmaleigh. ‘You can’t unsee the things that you’ve seen, and you can’t unhear the things that you’ve heard. The cries of a mother on a 911 recording, while she’s holding her dying infant, is just something you’ll never forget,’ said Jackson County Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger who investigated the case.
Taylor was arrested and the infant was rushed to the hospital. Two days later she died in the hospital after she was taken off life support. Her cause of death was officially listed as blunt-force trauma exacerbated by blood loss caused by sexual assault.