Benjamin Taylor appears back in court for pre-trial

JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WTAP) - A pre-trial for a man accused of sexually assaulting and killing an infant took place Thursday afternoon in Jackson County.

32 year-old Benjamin Taylor of Cottageville is charged with murder, sexual assault and child abuse in connection with the death of 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer.

He was escorted into circuit court at the Jackson County Court House Thursday in a bullet proof vest and helmet. No cameras or recording devices were allowed in the court room.

Investigators say in October of 2016, Emmaleigh's mom found the baby in the basement of her apartment unresponsive and covered in blood. Investigators say Taylor was the mom's boyfriend.

After a few announcements, the state lobbied to close the court room to the public and media, stating that lab results that would be dissected during the pre-trial would be harmful for future jurors.

At that time our reporter was escorted from the court room with other media and family.

Taylor's trial is set for June 4th.

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