Boyfriend didn’t want baby, prosecutor asserted
LOS ANGELES – On September 25, 2001, as 27-year-old Crystal Dejuanna Taylor walked outside of her apartment in the 12700 block of Kornblum Avenue, she was shot in the head and killed. She was 22 weeks pregnant at the time.
On Monday May 8, 2017, Taylor’s boyfriend at the time, 36-year-old Derek Paul Smyer, was finally convicted of first degree murder with the special circumstance of murder for financial gain, second-degree murder, conspiracy and two counts of solicitation of murder.
The trigger man was also convicted. 35-year-old Skyler Jefferson Moore, was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait, as well as one count of conspiracy.
The penalty phase of this trial will begin on May 10, as the jury decides whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Moore is already serving a life without parole sentence for another murder in 2001.
In 2001, when Smyer learned that Taylor was pregnant with his child, he became unhappy and tried to persuade her to have an abortion.
Taylor visited a clinic, but decided not to go through with it. Smyer then arranged for Moore to kill her.
According to the Daily Breeze, Smyer had attempted similar action in 1998 when his girlfriend got pregnant and, after declining a abortion, Smyer had her throat slashed by a man that he apparently secured for the deed. She and the baby survived.