Defense Rests In Taylor Homicide Case
SCRANTON — The defense in the Ryan Taylor homicide trial rested this morning after calling four witnesses, including two police officers who testified about forensic evidence that was collected but never sent for analysis. Scranton Detective Frank McClean testified he placed evidence bags over the hands of the victim, Danee Mower, after her body was pulled from the Lackawanna River. He said he was advised not to send any evidence that may have been obtained out for analysis because it likely would be contaminated by the river and because detectives said they already had enough evidence in the case. Taylor, 26, is on trial for first- and third-degree murder for Mower’s Feb. 28, 2017, death. Prosecutors contend he pushed Mower, 28, into the river near West Olive Street following an argument. An autopsy showed she died from drowning and hypothermia. Taylor’s attorney, Matthew Comerford, also called Taylor’s father, Darren Taylor, who testified his son has a history of seizures that started when he was 18 and got worse as he got older. On Friday, Taylor testified in his own defense. He claimed he and Mower were smoking synthetic marijuana with several other people on the riverbank when he blacked out from a seizure. When he awoke he found Mower and the others were gone and had no idea she was in the river. His testimony conflicts with a Scranton husband and wife, who said they saw a man flip another person into the river and then walk away. Judge Andy Jarbola is meeting with the defense and prosecution to discuss legal matters relating to instructions on the law that will be provided to the jury of eight women and four men. Closing arguments are expected to begin shortly. Check back for updates.