Leonard Taylor Executed For 4 Murders

Leonard Taylor was executed by the State of Missouri for the murders of a woman and her three children

According to court documents Leonard Taylor would murder his live in girlfriend Angela Rowe and her three children: Alexus Conley, 10, AcQreya Conley, 6, and Tyrese Conley, 5. After the murders Leonard would flee to California where he would be arrested months later

According to the autopsy the family was not discovered for two to three weeks following the murder. Leonard Taylor would insist that he was in California visiting his daughter at the time of the four murders

Leonard Taylor would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Leonard Taylor would be executed by lethal injection on February 7 2023

Leonard Taylor Photos

Leonard Taylor

Leonard Taylor FAQ

When Was Leonard Taylor Executed

Leonard Taylor was executed on February 7 2023

How Was Leonard Taylor Executed

Leonard Taylor was executed by lethal injection

Leonard Taylor Case

Leonard “Raheem” Taylor, who was convicted in a 2004 quadruple murder but maintained his innocence, died by lethal injection Tuesday night at a prison in eastern Missouri. Taylor, 58, was executed at the state prison in Bonne Terre. Karen Pojmann, of the Missouri Department of Corrections, said the lethal drug pentobarbital was administered to Taylor at 6:07 p.m. He was pronounced dead roughly nine minutes later at 6:16 p.m

In his final written statement, Leonard Taylor said Muslims don’t die but live on “eternally in the hearts” of family and friends. “Death is not your enemy, it is your destiny,” he wrote in part of the statement. “Look forward to meeting it. Peace!”

Leonard Taylor has long maintained that he was in California when his girlfriend, Angela Rowe, and her three children — Alexus Conley, 10, AcQreya Conley, 6, and Tyrese Conley, 5 — were killed. All were found dead in their suburban St. Louis home on Dec. 3, 2004. Initially, investigators said the victims had been killed no more than a few days before they were discovered. But at trial, St. Louis County medical examiner Phillip Burch changed the estimated time of death to a two or three-week window based in part on the cool temperature in the house. Lawyers for Taylor have argued that there is evidence Rowe and her children were still alive at the time Taylor was in California. A forensic pathologist hired by the defense also issued a finding on Jan. 25 challenging the conclusions on their time of death.

Among those who witnessed Taylor’s execution on Tuesday were nine of the victims’ family members. Gerjuan Rowe, older sister to Angela Rowe, said she believed “justice was served” by the state. In a statement, the Midwest Innocence Project said Leonard Taylor was unjustly “killed by the very system that should have protected him.” “Since the moment of his arrest, Mr. Taylor proclaimed his innocence, loudly and for all who would hear. Yet no one — not the police, not the prosecutor, not the attorneys charged with defending him — seriously investigated that claim of innocence,” the group wrote.

In recent weeks, attorneys for Leonard Taylor highlighted new information in an effort to halt his execution. Groups such as the Innocence Project and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty also threw their support behind Taylor. Gov. Mike Parson denied his clemency request on Monday, saying Taylor “brutally murdered” the victims.

“The evidence shows Leonard Taylor committed these atrocities and a jury found him guilty,” Parson said. “Despite his self-serving claim of innocence, the facts of his guilt in this gruesome quadruple homicide remain.” In the days leading up to the execution, two petitions before the Missouri Supreme Court were denied. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. In a docket entry, the high court rejected a stay of execution. Taylor’s lawyers also asked the Missouri Supreme Court to direct a prison warden to let his spiritual advisor be with him in the execution chamber.

Megan Crane, co-director of the MacArthur Justice Center’s Missouri office in St. Louis, said Taylor was “wrongfully executed” despite a “credible claim of innocence” that was not heard or evaluated by any court of law. She also noted the state carried out the death sentence as there was an open legal claim that his religious rights were violated by the state. “This is an undeniable and irreversible injustice,” Crane said. “But, in the words of Raheem, he will ‘live eternally in the hearts of family and friends.’” Protesters gathered across the state to express opposition to capital punishment. Demonstrations were organized in St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City, Jefferson City, Columbia and Bonne Terre.

“I’m a Christian by faith, and I just don’t think that killing is the right thing,” said Jared Sloan, 67, an Independence minister, who carried a sign on Tuesday that read: “Thou shalt not kill.” “It’s immoral for the state of Missouri to take on itself the right to execute and kill people.” Susie Roling, a social worker and director of operations at Journey to New Life, a prison re-entry program based in Kansas City, said there is no evidence that demonstrates the death penalty is a deterrent against crime. “The worst of the worst in our country are not put to death,” Roling said. “It’s oftentimes the poorest of the poor.” Furonda Brasfield, an Arkansas attorney and director of leadership with the Eighth Amendment Project, which seeks to end the death penalty, said Taylor’s case represents “a travesty of justice.” She pointed to the case of Ladell Lee, an Arkansas man executed in 2017, among the cases where states have pressed on with carrying out a death sentence despite standing claims of innocence. “These types of things happen all the time. And these states have got to slow down. They have to be less bloodthirsty and just stop and fully explore these claims of innocence,” Brasfield said.

In the past 10 weeks, Missouri has executed three people. Amber McLaughlin died Jan. 3, and Kevin Johnson died Nov. 29. All three were convicted in St. Louis County, which has the sixth highest number of executions in the U.S., at 20. It trails four counties in Texas and one in Oklahoma, according to the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. Parson has now denied clemency to two people who claimed they were innocent and consequently that they were wrongly sentenced to die. The first was Walter Barton, who was tried five times for the killing of a woman in Ozark. The Innocence Project, the Midwest Innocence Project and the MacArthur Justice Center urged Parson to appoint a board to investigate Barton’s innocence claims, which included dubious blood splatter evidence and an incentivized jailhouse informant. Barton was executed in May 2020.


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