Michigan man found guilty in pawn shop murder

A Michigan man was found guilty of murdering a Harrison Twp. pawn shop manager and legally liable for the death of another man who was shot during the botched robbery attempt.

Darren D. Taylor, 48, was found guilty in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court by a jury of nine women and three men on all courts — four counts of murder, two counts apiece of aggravated robbery and felonious assault with a deadly weapon. A bench trial found Taylor guilty on counts of having a weapon while under disability.

The jury deliberating for a little more than an hour Wednesday morning after both sides rested late Tuesday afternoon. Judge Dennis J. Adkins scheduled sentencing for May 15. “We feel like justice has been done,” said prosecuting attorney Tracy Ballard-Tangeman.

The prosecution alleged 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, Anthony McClain, died of gunshot wounds.

Golub’s wife, son and daughter did not want to comment about the verdict. Golub’s wife cried after the verdict was read.

“They’re thrilled,” Ballard-Tangeman said. “This has been an emotional journey for them. There’s an element of closure that’s given to them, but it won’t bring Ilya back.”

Taylor’s attorney, Kate Bowling, told the jury during opening statements and closing arguments that her client was not the man shown in multiple surveillance videos of the incident shown during testimony.

“My condolences go out to the families involved,” Bowling said. “This was hard for everyone, including my client. The jury did their job, but he intends to appeal, so we’ll take it from there.”

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.

“In the course of (the crime), his buddy was killed and he later dumped that body in an alley, like a piece of trash,” Ballard-Tangeman said.

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.

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