Man pleads not guilty in missing Va. teen case

Randy Taylor (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail photo)

Randy Taylor
(Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail photo)

LOVINGSTON, Va. (AP) _ A man charged with killing a missing Nelson County teenager has pleaded not guilty.

Randy Taylor’s trial started Thursday in Nelson County Circuit Court and is expected to last about two weeks. Jury selection began after the 48-year-old Taylor pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile. Prosecutor Anthony Martin told potential jurors that 17-year-old Alexis Murphy’s body hasn’t been found. It took about 9 hours to seat the jury.

Murphy disappeared last August. She was last seen at a gas station in Lovingston. Authorities found her car several days later in an Albemarle County parking lot.

Taylor’s attorney sought a change of venue because of heavy news coverage of the case in Nelson County. Circuit Judge J. Michael Gamble denied the motion in February.

WFIR reporter Velvet Hall contributed to this report

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