Defense in murder case accuses police of destroying evidence

Composite image shows slain Medford mother Sarah Goode, 21, and the man accused of killing her, Dante Taylor.

Composite image shows slain Medford mother Sarah Goode, 21, and the man accused of killing her, Dante Taylor. (4/18/16)

RIVERHEAD - An attorney for the Mastic man charged with raping and murdering a young Medford mother is accusing Suffolk police of destroying evidence that he says could have cleared his client.

Dante Taylor is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Sarah Goode. As News 12 has reported, Goode's remains were found in a wooded area in Medford back in 2014. She was found with 42 stab wounds, and prosecutors have alleged that Taylor raped her and killed her.

During a pretrial hearing on Monday, Police Officer Jessica Story, who worked for Suffolk Parks Police at the time, testified that a member of a search party looking for Goode had showed her women's leggings she'd found at Smith Point County Park days after Goode disappeared. The witness said Goode was last seen wearing similar leggings. Officer Story said she took the leggings and invoiced them as evidence.

Taylor's attorney says he wasn't told about any of the clothing until just recently, and claims prosecutors withheld it.

Officer Story said she also discovered men’s boxers, socks and a piece of a sweatshirt not far from the leggings. Story claimed she told Suffolk detectives about the findings, who told her they “did not believe they were important to the case” and left them there. She testified that the evidence was later destroyed.

The defense says it will now never know if the articles of clothing were important or not, and if they could have possibly cleared Taylor.

"I don't care what the detectives say about the clothes because I can't believe anything they have to say anyway, because they have been less than forthright during this investigation; withholding evidence,” said defense attorney John Lewis Jr.

The trial was supposed to begin last November, but has been plagued by problems. State Supreme Court Justice John Collins has sanctioned prosecutors for violating the Brady rule five times. The rule requires prosecutors to turn over all evidence that could be favorable to the defense.

If convicted in the case, Taylor faces life in prison without parole.

More on this topic

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Suffolk fire officials say a house was gutted 1 House gutted by overnight fire in Oakdale
The owner of a Huntington church and food 2 Huntington food pantry owner says he is being targeted by neighbors, town
Developers want to build more than 150 new 3 Plans to expand Bayport senior apartment complex faces opposition
According to police, Eddickson Mulliz, of Central islip, 4 Central Islip man accused of hiding heroin in engine of car
Officials say a pedestrian was struck and killed 5 Police say they caught woman who struck, killed man in Central Islip

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Dante Taylor, 19, faces first-degree murder charges in Man pleads not guilty to killing Medford mom

The former Marine accused of brutally murdering a young Medford mom was in court Thursday.

Attendees spoke about the mother of one and Vigil held for Medford mom

Family, friends and complete strangers gathered Saturday night to remember a young Medford mother whose

Composite image shows slain Medford mother Sarah Goode, Charges upgraded for Medford mom’s alleged killer

Charges have been upgraded against the man accused of stabbing a Medford mother to death.

Family members say Goode had recently broken up Police ID body found in woods as missing woman

Police have confirmed that the body found in a wooded area of Medford on Thursday

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE