Suspect in murder case speaks out

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — Surrounded by loved ones, Carla Cruse did not flinch while in court Thursday morning.

In fact, the mother of CaSondra Evrard would have to listen to four suspects plead not guilty in her daughter's murder case.

Jasmine Taylor, said to have once been Evrard's best friend, faces murder charges.  Her parents, Mark and Jamie Taylor, face the same, along with tampering with evidence.  Investigators said the pair moved Evrard's body.  Jasmine's aunt, Denise Marshall, is facing kidnapping charges for bringing Evrard to the house where she was later killed.

Evrard's family reported the 21-year-old missing Dec. 10.  The next day, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden discovered her body in a wooded area near Wilmington Road.

Jamie Taylor smiled in the courtroom and even waived at her sister-in-law, Denise Marshall.   But her daughter Jasmine Taylor had a tougher time.

Her court-appointed laywer patted her on the back after entering her not guilty plea and told her to, "Hang in there."

But outside the courtroom she broke down.

"CaSondra was my best friend. I miss her," she said.

Her father Mark Taylor was not as nostalgic.  During a brief walk he complained about jail conditions, "not too good" and professed his innocence, "not guilty."

Like father, like daughter. Jasmine Taylor said she too is innocent.

She said she had a message for CaSondra's mother, Carla Cruse, "I love her and I'm sorry for what happened to her daughter but I didn't do it."

The Taylors and Denise Marshall are now preparing for a trial. They all met with their lawyers later Thursday morning.  The group is due back in court Feb. 3.

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