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UPDATE: Final Suspect Pleads Guilty in Deadly Robbery

By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove, Bill Murray Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove, Bill Murray Email

UPDATE 2/27/13 @ 11:30 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A robber who ended up killing his victim could be off the streets for the next decade.

James Garrett pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Zane Taylor, a 33-year-old man who was killed in his home along Ohio 218 in June 2012.

Investigators say Taylor died from blunt force trauma to the neck, similar to being held in a choke hold. They say Garrett and three others went to the home to buy drugs and rob Taylor before Garrett put him in the choke hold, killing him.

Garrett, who will be sentenced next week, faces 11 years in prison.



UPDATE 2/13/13
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Two more people have made plea deals in the case of a robbery that turned deadly in Gallipolis.

In June 2012, Zane Taylor, 33, of Gallipolis, was killed in his home on SR 218. Investigators say he died from blunt force trauma to the neck, similar to being held in a choke hold.

Four people were charged in the case.

Last week, Lacey Redmond, 26, of Gallipolis, and Steven Williams, 31, of Bidwell, made plea deals in the case.

Redmond pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and complicity to involuntary manslaughter. She will be sentenced next month and faces 15 years in prison.

Williams pleaded guilty to robbery and tampering with evidence in the case. He also pleaded to guilty to possession of drugs and a drug trafficking charge in unrelated cases. He faces five-and-a-half years in prison.

Part of the plea agreements mean they will all have to testify against James Garrett, the fourth person charged in this case. Garrett is scheduled to go on trial later this month.

Eugene Wasonga, 25, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., made a plea deal in the case in December. He pleaded guilty to robbery and complicity to robbery. He will be sentenced next month and faces three-and-a-half years in prison.

Investigators have said the four went to Taylor's home with a plan to buy drugs and rob him. Two of the suspects testified that during the robbery, Garrett had Taylor in a choke hold during the robbery.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/12/12
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- One of the four men charged for their role in the murder of a Gallia County man has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Zane Taylor, 33, of Gallia County, was found dead at his home on State Route 218 on June 11.

The Gallia County Coroner says the preliminary autopsy report shows Taylor died of blunt force trauma to the neck. The Sheriff’s Office believes robbery was the motive in the murder.

Eugene Wasonga, 24, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., was originally charged with conspiracy to aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery, and complicity to murder.

On Tuesday, Wasonga was in Gallia County Common Pleas Court where he pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery and tampering with evidence.

Prosecutor Jeff Adkins tells WSAZ as part of the plea agreement Wasonga will be required to testify against the others charged in the case, and that he will not be sentenced until those cases are complete.

Adkins says the plea deal requires Wasonga to receive a 30-month sentence on the robbery charges and 12 months on the tampering with evidence charge. The sentences will be served consecutively. He was released from jail on bond following the hearing.

The other three men charged in the murder are James Garrett, 21, of Point Pleasant, Lacey Redmond, 26, Gallipolis, Ohio and Steven Williams, 31, of Bidwell, Ohio.

Garrett is charged with murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to aggravated robbery.

Williams and Redmond are charged with conspiracy to aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery and complicity to murder.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/27/12 @ 3:15 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – A grand jury has indicted four people for their alleged role in the murder of a Gallia County man.

Zane Taylor, 33, of Gallia County. Taylor was found dead at his home on State Route 218 on June 11.

James Garrett, 21, of Point Pleasant, Eugene Wasonga, 24, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., Lacey Redmond, 26, Gallipolis, Ohio and Steven Williams, 31, of Bidwell, Ohio were arrested several days after Taylor was found dead.

The Gallia County Coroner says the preliminary autopsy report shows Taylor died of blunt force trauma to the neck. The Sheriff’s Office believes robbery was the motive in the murder.

The grand jury indictment charges Garrett with murder, aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to aggravated robbery.

Williams, Redmond and Wasonga are indicted on charges of conspiracy to aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery, and complicity to murder.



UPDATE 6/22/12
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Cases against four charges in a murder in Gallia County have all been bound over to the grand jury.

James Garrett, 21, of Point Pleasant, Eugene O. Wasonga, 24, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., Lacey S. Redmond, 26, Gallipolis, Ohio and Steven L. Williams, 31, of Bidwell, Ohio were all in court this week in Gallia County.

They are charged in the death of Zane Taylor, 33, of Gallia County. Taylor was found dead at his home on State Route 218 on June 11.

Garrett is charged with murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy in the death.

During his heading earlier this week, investigators testified that other suspects in the case said Garrett had Taylor in a choke hold while they were robbing Taylor's home.

The Gallia County Coroner says that a preliminary autopsy report shows blunt force trauma to Taylor's neck, which backs up the choke hold theory, but a cause of death has not been determined at this time.

Redmond, Wasonga and Williams are all charged with robbery and complicity to murder.

Investigators say the group went to Taylor's home with plans for Redmond to buy marijuana from him and the others come in and rob him.

The Gallia County Grand Jury meets next week.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/19/12 @ 8:15 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A murder case in Gallia County is moving forward, after enough evidence was presented to turn the case over to the grand jury.

James Garrett, 21, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., is charged with murder in the death of Zane Taylor. Taylor, 33, was found dead at his home on State Route 218 in Gallia County on June 11.

Tuesday morning, Garrett was in court in Gallia County for a preliminary hearing.

During the hearing, a sergeant with the Gallia County Sheriff's Office, a BCI investigator and the Gallia County Coroner testified.

Sgt. Chris Gill with the Sheriff's Department testified that Taylor was found dead in his home, and drawers were open in the bedroom in an odd manner.

Investigators were able to connect Lacey Redmond to the case after a call from a local hospital to investigate a rape case. Redmond claimed she was raped by three men. While at the hospital a man told Gill that Redmond was at Taylor’s home the day of the murder.

Redmond later told investigators that she, along with James Garrett, Eugene Wasonga and Steven Williams, went to Taylor's house with a plan to buy marijuana and rob him. They planned to look for money and guns.

Investigators testified that Redmond admitted that she would be the one to go into the home, since she knew Taylor and the other three would come in for the robbery.

She said during the robbery, Wasonga went back to a bedroom to look through some things and it was Garrett's job to hold Taylor down to make sure he didn't interfere. Redmond and Williams both told investigators that Garrett had Taylor in a choke hold during the robbery.

Gallia County Coroner Dr. Dan Whitely said on the stand Tuesday that preliminary autopsy results show blunt force trauma to Taylor's neck, consistent with someone having their arm around his neck from the back. There were also contusions on Taylor’s head. A cause of death has still not been determined.

Gill testified Tuesday that Garrett's grandmother was the one to bring him into custody. He said that she was found walking around the Sheriff's Department and asked if they were looking for Garrett. She said that she was his grandmother, and he was in the van in the parking lot. Gill said he went to the van, and Garrett was taken to custody without incident and asked for a lawyer.

During Tuesday's hearing, enough probable cause was found and the case was bound over to the grand jury. Garrett is also charged with aggravated robbery and conspiracy.

Redmond, Wasonga and Williams are all charged with robbery and complicity to murder.



UPDATE 6/19/12 @ 12:45 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- One of the four people charged with the murder of Zane Taylor was in court Tuesday morning.

James Garrett, 21, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., was in a Gallia County courtroom for a pretrial hearing.

The judge found that there was enough probably cause to send the case forward to the grand jury.

The Gallia County Sheriff's Office says 33-year-old Zane Taylor's body was found about 2 p.m. on June 11 at his home along State Route 218.

Eugene O. Wasonga, 24, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., Lacey S. Redmond, 26, Gallipolis, Ohio and Steven L. Williams, 31, of Bidwell, Ohio are all facing charges in connection with the murder of Taylor.

Garrett remains in the Gallia County Jail.

WSAZ.com spoke with the sister of Zane Taylor after the hearing. You can hear what she had to say, tonight at 5 and 6 p.m.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/13/12 @ 6 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Four people have been charged with murder in the death of Zane Taylor of Gallia County, Ohio.

Taylor, 33, of Clay Township, was found dead in his home along State Route 218 Monday afternoon.

Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning says the four people were arrested after investigators talked with several people that had made contact with Taylor before his death.

Browning has not released a cause of death, but says the motive is believed to be robbery.

Arrested were:

  • Lacey S. Redmond, 26, Gallipolis, Ohio; charged with complicity to felony murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

  • Steven L. Williams, 31, of Bidwell, Ohio; charged with complicity to felony murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

  • Eugene O. Wasonga, 24, of Point Pleasant, W.Va.; charged with complicity to felony murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

  • James C. Garrett, 21, of Point Pleasant; charged with felony murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

Further charges may be considered at the next session of the Gallia County Grand Jury.

"We don't believe this is a random act of violence," Browning said. "They went there to rob a particular person they knew. In this particular case, this is something that went a lot further than robbery, and Mr. Taylor ended up dying as result of what happened here."

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/12/12 @ 10 p.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The death of a man who lived in the Clay Township area of Gallipolis has left neighbors stunned.

"When it's this close to home, we're very concerned," neighbor Brent Saunders said.

The Gallia County Sheriff's Office says 33-year-old Zane Taylor's body was found about 2 p.m. Monday at his home along State Route 218.

"It makes you fearful for your own safety when you know stuff like that is going on," Kay Saunders said.

Saunders lives across from Taylor's property. She says Taylor's sister ran for help after finding him Monday.

"A gentleman stopped by and knocked on my door and said a lady had stopped him on the road and said her brother was on the floor in the house, and there was blood,” Kay said. “I ran and called 911.”

Neighbors say Taylor lived there alone.

Investigators searched the home and have been interviewing people who knew him.

The sheriff’s department isn't saying whether they have any leads or suspects at this point, just that the death is suspicious.

"I do hope they find out what caused his death and, if it was somebody who did it, I hope they find out who did it," Saunders said.

Taylor's body has been sent to the Montgomery County, Ohio Coroner's Office for an autopsy.



ORIGINAL STORY
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The Gallia County Sheriff calls the death of a 33-year-old Clay Township man suspicious.

Sheriff Joe Browning says Zane Taylor was found unresponsive in his home along State Route 218 Monday afternoon.

Browning say that deputies, along with Ohio BCI&I Agents, questioned and interviewed associates of Taylor’s Monday evening. They also conducted a search of his home.

The Sheriff is not saying how Taylor died. He expects to release more information once he receives the autopsy results.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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