A Montgomery County Common Pleas jury of nine women and three men got the case late Tuesday afternoon in the murder trial of a Detroit man accused of killing a Harrison Twp. pawn shop manager. Judge Dennis J. Adkins said the jury will begin deliberating Wednesday morning.
Darren D. Taylor, 48, faces four counts of murder, two counts apiece of aggravated robbery and felonious assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of having a weapon while under disability.
The prosecution alleges that Taylor, of Southfield, Mich., and two other men on Dec. 22, 2011 tried to rob the Cash To Go Pawn Shop at 3694 Salem Ave. Store manager Ilya Golub, 53, and one of the other alleged would-be robbers died of gunshot wounds.
Taylor’s attorney, Kate Bowling, told the jury during opening statements and closing arguments that her client is not the man shown in multiple surveillance videos of the incident.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Kelly Madzey told the jury that they had seen a video of Taylor leaving his apartment around 4 a.m. and that the clothes match the person in the video and match what Taylor was wearing when he was apprehended.
Madzey also recounted Taylor’s alleged texts and phone calls and that evidence showed the phone that was found on Taylor was the one using cell towers from Detroit to Dayton and back and that the defendant wrote a letter telling girlfriends what to say or asking for help.
“You can’t argue with the videotape,” Madzey said.
Bowling implored the jurors to dig deeper, consider the witness’ credibility, examine the inconsistencies in Taylor’s confession and why the police didn’t look any further for other suspects.
“(Taylor) decided to fall on the sword,” Bowling said. “He decided to take the blame for something he was not responsible for to protect his family.”
During the trial, prosecutors showed five different surveillance camera views of the incident, which showed that despite being shot first, Golub was able to return fire and hit one of the would-be robbers. That followed a period of time when three men walked around the store. Ohio law states that guilty defendants are criminally responsible for the deaths of accomplices in such cases.
Madzey said surveillance video showed the shootout and shows Taylor pulling his gun out first. Anthony McClain, the would-be robber who got shot, left the store on his own but was later found dead propped up against a building in Michigan.
“It went south,” Madzey said during opening statements, quoting what she said Taylor told police. “As worst as it gets.”
Golub came to Dayton in the late 1980s along with his wife and two children to escape persecution in the former U.S.S.R., friends said. The Golubs were among about 200 Russian Jews who sought political asylum in the Dayton area around that time.
Larry Baker, 28, of Detroit, also has been charged with murder, felonious assault and aggravated robbery in connection with Golub’s death. Baker has not yet gone on trial.