New hearing denied for Alabama man serving life for Lowndes murder

DTL Editor

The Mississippi Court of Appeals has denied a new hearing for an Alabama man serving a life sentence for shooting and killing a Lowndes County teenager in 2011.

Court records show 31-year-old Joshua Taylor, of Reform, Alabama, made a motion for a new hearing after his conviction was affirmed on appeal by the court last October.

Taylor was found guilty of one count of capital murder in the death of William Stalling on May 19, 2011. A Lowndes County jury convicted him the following July.

Previous reports say Stallings was shot while he was asleep on the couch at a friend’s house during a robbery that involved multiple suspects.

Investigators made several arrests following the shooting, but court documents says detectives were tipped off by Taylor’s girlfriend, a native of Alabama who feared police had arrested the wrong people.

Those suspects then testified against Taylor at trial, saying after the shot was fired that he ran out of the trailer saying he “shot a guy.”

On his most recent appeal, Taylor claims the circuit court erroneously refused to instruct the jury on the lesser offense of second-degree murder, while also denying his motion to suppress statements he made to investigating officers, which included his confession to the murder.

In the court’s conclusion to Taylor’s latest appeal, the ruling states the evidence presented did not warrant the lesser second-degree murder instruction for the jury.

The court also ruled there was no error in the trial court’s decision to deny Taylor’s motion to suppress his statements to police during the investigation.

Taylor was sentenced to life in prison in April 2017 and is currently serving his sentence at the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs.