Napa cult murderer found not guilty by insanity

Napa Valley Register/May 15, 2008

Alexander Taylor, the 26-year-old Napa man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2006 shooting of George Davis, was found by a jury this morning to be not guilty by reason of insanity.

Earlier this month, a jury convicted Taylor of first-degree murder in the slaying of Davis, 62, who lured Taylor and others into a witchcraft cult of sorts at his Redwood Road apartment. Taylor will be confined at a mental institution where he will be treated for his mental illness. He will remain at the hospital until medical experts deem him sane. Taylor cannot be kept at the hospital any longer than the punishment for first-degree murder, which is 25 years to life.

Taylor's defense attorney, Jess Raphael, presented evidence from psychological professionals that Taylor is schizophrenic and did not know right from wrong at the time of the incident. He asked the jury in the second phase of the trial to find Taylor not guilty by reason of insanity. Napa County Deputy District Attorney Gary Van Kamp argued Taylor shot Davis in cold blood and should be held legally accountable for his act.

On Thursday morning, after less than a day's deliberations in the sanity phase of the trial, the jury before Napa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Ray Guadagni unanimously agreed Taylor was not guilty by reason of insanity.

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