Craig Taylor

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DNA Solves 2012 Murder, Suspect in Custody

DOWNTOWN JACKSON -- A Madison County man is in custody and charged with felony murder and attempted armed robbery after DNA evidence links him to a homicide 17 months after the shooting death of Devon Staten, 24, according to Jackson Police.

Craig Taylor, 21, was arrested around 2:30 p.m.on Tuesday on the 2100 block of N. Highland Avenue by the U.S. Marshals Task Force and transported to the Madison County Jail.

The task force is compromised of deputy U.S. Marshals and investigators from the Jackson Police Department's Gang Unit and Metro Narcotics Unit.

Taylor is scheduled to be formally arraigned via video link at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Jackson City Court on charges of first-degree murder of Staten in perpetration of attempted aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated robbery of Staten's girlfriend.

Around 5 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2012, Staten's girlfriend had just arrived at the home she shared with Staten at 173 Lealand Lane. While the woman was outside, a masked man came from the side of her duplex and approached her with a gun. The man then ordered the woman to go inside her home.

The woman began to scream causing Staten to come to from inside the home with a gun. Staten and the robber exchanged gunfire, and Staten was struck. He was transported to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital where he died from a gunshot wound.

Officers canvassed the area in which the robber had run and found a camouflage mask. Staten's girlfriend identified the mask as the one the robber had worn.

Investigators sent the mask to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for DNA analysis. The crime lab developed a DNA profile from the mask.

During the course of the investigation, Craig Taylor was developed as a suspect. In January, investigators obtained a sample of Taylor's DNA and submitted it to the crime lab for comparison.

Last Friday, the crime lab notified investigators that Taylor's DNA profile had been matched to the previously unknown DNA profile on the mask.

On Monday, Major Crimes Investigators signed a warrant for Taylor's arrest, and the task force had been searching for him to serve the arrest warrant.
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