Lane County jury sentences David Ray Taylor to death for 2012 killing

Lane County Circuit Judge Charles Zennache reads the jury verdicts

Lane County Circuit Judge Charles Zennache reads the jury verdicts on May 8, 2014, in the murder trial of David Ray Taylor. (Photo: The Register-Guard/Associated Press)
By The Associated Press 
on May 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

EUGENE — A Lane County jury has agreed that a Eugene man who's twice been convicted of killings should be executed.

The jury reached its decision Thursday in the case of 58-year-old David Ray Taylor, convicted last week in the 2012 killing of Celestino Gutierrez.

Prosecutors said Gutierrez was killed so that his car could be used as a getaway vehicle in a bank robbery a few hours after he was killed.

Taylor previously served 27 years for the killing of a young Eugene woman in 1977. He was released in 2004.

Prosecutors said the killing of Gutierrez was done at Taylor's home, and he planned it along with younger associates, one of whom posed as a stranded woman in a bar parking lot and asked Gutierrez for a ride.

After Gutierrez was killed, his body was dismembered and buried in a forest southwest of Eugene, The Register-Guard reported.

"This is a rare, extreme case, and exactly what the death penalty was intended for," Lane County Deputy District Attorney David Schwartz told the jury.

Defense attorney Chris Burris argued for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

One of Taylor's associates has been sentenced to life in prison. Another awaits trial in the fall. A third was granted immunity for testifying against Taylor, saying that Taylor wanted Gutierrez killed so he couldn't report the car theft before the bank robbery.

Taylor will be officially sentenced Tuesday and will join 33 other men and one woman on Oregon's death row.

Just two inmates have been executed since Oregon voters reinstated capital punishment in 1984. Both waived appeals that might otherwise have taken decades. The last execution was in 1997.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has placed a moratorium on executions during his time in office.

Eugene resident Angela McAnulty, the only woman on death row in Oregon, was the last Lane County resident to receive a death sentence. McAnulty was convicted in 2011 of killing her teenage daughter, Jeanette Maples.

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