Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ex-Boyfriend Found Guilty of Burning Down Apartment Complex, Killing A Man

17th Judicial District Attorney Don Quick announced today that Douglas Taylor (dob: 05/01/1975) was found guilty of for burning down an apartment complex, killing one man and injuring others.

Evidence was presented at trial that on May 25, 2009 at approximately 1:35 AM, Aurora Police Officers were on patrol in the area of Emporia Street in Adams County when they heard screaming and loud commotion from an apartment building. The officers observed residents breaking out windows and jumping to the ground as the building was engulfed in smoke and fire. While attempting to enter the building, officers heard a loud explosion at the north side of the complex. After gaining limited entry into the common hallway, officers were able to remove a downed resident, later identified as Jose De Jesus Martinez Espinoza (dob: 04/27/1957). Mr. Martinez transported to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead the next morning from his injuries of third degree burns over 90% of his body.

Witnesses testified that Taylor believed his ex-girlfriend was in the Emporia Street apartments visiting a friend that day. One witness testified that Taylor had confessed starting a fire at a house one month prior. Another witnesses testified that Taylor was known to threaten to burn down people’s houses when he was angry. The investigation by the Aurora Fire Department determined that the fire had been set deliberately in two locations.

Taylor’s accomplice, Coy Dunn (dob: 12/07/1987) testified that he assisted Taylor in obtaining the gasoline to start the fire, accompanied Taylor to the apartment building and witnessed Taylor ignite the fire. Dunn pled guilty on August 27, 2010 to Second Degree Murder and Attempted First Degree Murder. He will be sentenced on October 21, 2010.

After two hours of deliberation, an Adams County jury found Taylor guilty of First Degree Felony Murder (F1), First Degree Murder (F1), 10 counts of Attempted First Degree Murder (F2), and First Degree Arson (F3).

District attorney Quick states, “I am grateful to the Aurora Police Department for their investigation and for the outstanding work of my prosecutors, Tim McCormack and Caryn Datz.”

Adams County District Court Judge Patrick Murphy immediately sentenced Taylor to life in prison plus 275 years.

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