Michael L. Taylor, 18, of Baltimore could face back-to-back federal death penalty trials, the Baltimore Sun says. His attorneys say the possibility of successive death penalty trials unfairly allows the government “two bites at the apple.” Prosecutors say it’s a situation of Taylor’s own making, in a case with so many killings that not every victim could be fully accounted for in a single trial.
“Individuals such as Mr. Taylor who commit multiple murders as adults (not even considering the multiple murders he committed as a juvenile) cannot expect to dictate whether the government chooses to charge those murders individually or together,” prosecutors said in court papers.
Taylor is reportedly part of a violent West Baltimore drug gang known as the Lexington Terrace Boys, whose members were responsible for more than 40 shootings over five years. His trial in January will be the first federal death penalty trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore since 1998, when a jury rejected a death sentence for a drug lord.
In the case of Taylor, known on the street as “Mike Mumbles,” prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty for the killing in February of last year of a potential witness in a double murder case – Robert “Snoop” McManus, 24, who was gunned down on a street in West Baltimore.