A West Virginia man on trial for the rape and murder of a 10-month-old baby listened in court Thursday while his ex testified on how she found her little girl bleeding and unresponsive on the tragic night the infant was sexually assaulted.
According to Jackson Newspapers, Benjamin Taylor was listening to music and looking at porn on his phone for hours on October 3, 2016, when afterward, he allegedly raped 10-month-old Emmaleigh Elizabeth Barringer at a Fairplain home he shared with his former live-in girlfriend. The baby died two days later.
During an emotional testimony inside a Jackson County courtroom on Thursday morning, the little girl’s mother, Amanda Adkins, took the stand and detailed walking into the basement of the home on the night in question, where she said she found a shirtless Taylor kneeling over Emmaleigh with his pants unbuttoned. Adkins said she approached her daughter, confused by what was happening, and noticed Emmaleigh was bleeding around her nose.
Adkin became frantic when she noticed her little girl making gurgling sounds and “freezing cold” to the touch. She immediately dialed 911 and told the dispatcher, “I think he f***ing raped her.”
The little girl was rushed to a Charleston, West Virginia, hospital, where a physician reportedly noted she was bleeding extensively from her vagina, consistent with being penetrated by an adult male. Emmaleigh also had a severe head injury, consistent with being thrown on the ground.
Bodycam footage taken by police that arrived to the scene showed the suspect lifting his shirt when requested. Police noticed dried blood on his torso and on his thigh. In the basement area of the home, officers found clothing and blankets drenched in blood, according to court testimony.
Taylor reportedly claimed he “blacked out” and couldn’t remember what happened, yet he showed authorities his groin area to prove he had no blood on or around his genitals. However, officers said they spotted him trying to “wipe something” off of his private area when they arrived, which was likely the infant’s blood.
After his arrest, an outraged community started a petition for the public hanging of Taylor, which was shut down after it yielded over 50,000 signatures. Taylor wore a bullet-proof and a helmet to most of his previous court appearances.
Ross Mellinger of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department testified that authorities later searched Taylor’s phone and found he looked at porn from 2:52 a.m. to 3:17 a.m. on October 3.
“In my mind, it was a prelude to the assault or simultaneous to it,” Mellinger stated.
Taylor is charged with rape and murder. If convicted, he faces life in prison. Testimony started again on Friday morning and is scheduled to resume again next week. Check back with CrimeOnline for additional updates.
[Feature Photo: Emmaleigh Elizabeth Barringer/Handout]