FINAL DEFENDANT SENTENCED FOR 2011 MURDER OF MT. VERNON CAB DRIVER

After nearly seven years, the last of four people has been sentenced for the May 2011 botched robbery and murder of a 75-year-old Mt. Vernon cab driver.

Mark A. Taylor Jr.
(Source: JCSO)

Judge Tom Tedeschi sentenced Mark A. Taylor Jr. Friday to 45 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, 30 of those for first degree murder and an additional 15 years for having used a firearm in the commission of the crime.

After just three hours of deliberation a Jefferson County jury found Taylor guilty in November of the first degree murder charge with the firearm enhancement.

Taylor is the last of four individuals charged and convicted in connection to the May 2011 botched robbery and shooting death of 75-year-old cab driver Charles Ellis as he was working on the streets of Mt. Vernon.

The three other defendants are Christopher Wells, who is serving 26 years for his role in Ellis’ murder; Damondros James, is serving 50 years in prison; and Demandre Black is serving 20 years in prison.

Bobby Ellis, son of the victim, delivered a victim’s impact statement prior to the sentence being handed down.

While the court did find that Taylor’s history of criminal behavior prior to Ellis’ murder, and that Ellis was over 60 years of age to be aggravating factors in sentencing, it was also found that Taylor has an intellectual disability, which lightened the ultimate sentence.

Taylor will remain in the Jefferson County Jail awaiting transfer to IDOC. He has been in custody since his May 2011 arrest.