Judge asked to reconsider double-murder suspect’s release

Prosecutors want a northwestern Indiana judge to reconsider his decision to release a man accused in the fatal shootings of a Gary woman and her 13-year-old son, calling him a “substantial” threat to the public.

Despite prosecutors’ objections, Lake Superior Criminal Division Judge Michael Pagano in February ordered Darren “Duke” Taylor Jr., 40, to be fitted with a GPS-equipped ankle monitor and released on home detention, but not to leave his parents’ Hammond home for any reason other than court dates.

The Indianapolis man was released on his own recognizance March 6 and ordered not to have any contact with the state’s witnesses, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

But prosecutors asked Pagano on Wednesday to reconsider his decision to release Taylor, who’s charged with murder and burglary in the March 2019 killings of 35-year-old Temia Haywood and Lavell Edmond in their Gary home.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Lake County deputy Prosecutor Patrick Grindlay wrote that Taylor, who had been in custody since his March 2019 arrest, should be returned to the Lake County Jail, because he “presents an extreme flight risk and poses a substantial danger to the community and the state’s witnesses,” Grindlay wrote.

Taylor’s trial set for April 6 will presumably now be rescheduled, because the Indiana Supreme Court approved the suspension of all jury trials in Lake County until May 4 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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