An Ogden man is scheduled to die by firing squad on Jan. 15 for the June 23, 1989, sexual assault and murder of an 11-year-old Washington Terrace girl.
John Albert Taylor, 32, appeared Friday before 2nd District Judge David Roth, who set the new execution date. Roth gave Taylor the choice of dying by lethal injection or firing squad. Taylor picked the latter.Defense attorney Martin Gravis said he plans to seek a stay of execution. He also said he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case but isn't optimistic the high court will hear the appeal.
Taylor was convicted on the capital murder charge in December 1989, and Roth ordered him to die by lethal injection. The case was automatically appealed to the Utah Supreme Court and that court last month upheld both the conviction and the punishment.
Taylor was the first person in 40 years to be sent to death row by either a jury or a judge in Weber County.
The body of Charla King was found by her mother in their apartment. The young girl had been sexually assaulted and strangled with a telephone cord. Taylor's fingerprints were found on the bottom of the telephone. He admitted to being in the apartment but only to commit a burglary. The defendant continues to maintain his innocence.
No one from Taylor's family appeared in the courtroom Friday to sit through the brief hearing. Sherron King, the victim's mother, was there.
Outside the courtroom, King said she was having a difficult time. "It's hard. It really is," she said in a quiet voice.
King said she was surprised that Taylor chose the firing squad over lethal injection. She also said she had mixed emotions about his execution because killing him would not bring back her daughter.
"At one time I wanted to kill him myself," she explained. "I know he needs to die. But for me to be a part of it is harder.
"I know that if he ever got out on the street, he would kill again. He has no remorse," she said. "But I know he was abused as a child. And there are other children out there right now being abused, and we're creating more John Albert Taylors. What I'm trying to do is forgive him."