Hammond man convicted in slayings of woman, her son, 13

A northwest Indiana man has been convicted in the fatal shootings of a Gary woman and her 13-year-old son who were slain in their home during a 2019 robbery.

A Lake County jury convicted Darren “Duke” Taylor, 41, on Monday of two counts of murder, two counts of murder in perpetration of a robbery and two counts of robbery. Jurors could not reach a verdict on one misdemeanor theft count the Hammond man had faced.

Police said Taylor shot Temia Haywood, 35, and her son, Lavell Edmond, in the head at close range in their Gary home in March 2019, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Taylor’s co-defendant, Nelson Gaines, 22, agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of assisting a criminal, and testified against Taylor.

He told jurors that he traveled to Haywood’s home with Taylor in hopes of making some money, but had no indication Taylor planned to kill Haywood and her son.

Gaines testified that after he and Taylor entered the home, he sat on a couch while Taylor went into a back bedroom with Haywood.

Gaines said he heard a gunshot, saw Taylor exit the room and run upstairs with a gun, and then heard a boy yell, “No!” before another shot was fired.

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