A Baltimore jury acquitted a man Tuesday of murder in a November 2019 fatal shooting, finding the man guilty of participating in a conspiracy to rob a beloved youth sports director and his wife.
The verdict in the case of Kahlil Madden, which followed approximately a week of trial and eight hours of deliberation, brings closer to conclusion the prosecutions stemming from the killing of Jordan Taylor, a youth sports director at the Y in Catonsville.
Madden, 29, faces at least 20 years in prison at sentencing Sept. 7 for the three charges the jury returned guilty verdicts for: two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary.
He had been charged with 15 offenses, including murder, felony murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Although Madden was disappointed the jury found him guilty of any charges, his attorney, Staci Pipkin, said “he’s happy that he was exonerated from the murder of Mr. Taylor.”
“He was horrified by the case himself,” Pipkin told The Baltimore Sun. “He maintains his innocence on all charges or that he had any involvement in the case.”
Taylor and his wife were at their home in West Baltimore’s Franklintown watching TV on Nov. 5, 2019, when a group of intruders began trying to break in around 9:40 p.m.
As the burglars pried at the door with a crowbar, Taylor threw his weight against it. On the other side, at least two people fired gunshots at the door and through a window. Five bullets pierced the door, with several striking Taylor.
His wife’s frantic 911 call captured the intruders’ demands once they made entry. They threatened to shoot her, demanding to know where the couple kept their safe.
“Come on! Where the safe at?” a man could be heard yelling, according to a recording of the call played at Madden’s trial.
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The couple didn’t have a safe and the intruders soon fled.
Twila Taylor, who testified twice at trial, tended her husband’s wounds while medics rushed to the residence. An ambulance took Taylor to the hospital, but he died the next morning. Taylor was 31.
With no DNA or fingerprints left by the assailants, investigators had little in the way of concrete evidence to solve the case.
Camera footage from the Taylors’ townhome community captured a car speeding away from the scene after the shooting. Investigators tracked the SUV’s movements from there through the city, a clue that eventually yielded suspects and phone numbers that allowed them to piece together what they described as a conspiracy to steal a safe from the Taylors’ residence.
Eventually four people were charged in the case: Aaron Butler, 50, pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder last week in the case, and he will be sentenced along with Madden. Another man who was charged died awaiting trial, and prosecutors dismissed charges against a woman, citing insufficient evidence.
In a statement Tuesday, Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates applauded the local and federal authorities who participated in the “long fight to deliver justice for Jordan Taylor.”
“My thoughts are with Ms. Taylor as she continues to grieve the loss of her wonderful husband,” Bates said. “His absence in the community continues to be felt.”