A Columbus man convicted of a shooting in a Fayette County church parking lot has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Last Thursday, a jury convicted Brandon J. Taylor in Fayette County Common Pleas Court following his trial. Then on Monday at his hearing, Taylor, 28, was sentenced to five years for first-degree felony aggravated robbery, six years on felonious assault (serious physical harm), and three years on a tampering with evidence charge.
Judge Steven Beathard also ordered that Taylor be sentenced to a single mandatory consecutive term of three years on the specifications contained in counts one and two of the indictment: “Having a firearm on or about his person or under his control and did use a firearm to facilitate the commission of the offense to be served first.”
The first two counts are to be served consecutively with each other, and the tampering with evidence count will be served concurrently with counts one and two, for a total prison sentence of 14 years.
On the evening of Nov. 28 in the Center Christian Church parking lot, located on Garringer-Edgefield Road in northwest Fayette County, a witness in the area reported observing two vehicles in the lot and at least two individuals outside the vehicles involved in a physical altercation.
A short time later, the caller reported hearing what was believed to be a gunshot. Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jordan Lovely found an incoherent man, later identified as Lee E. Watkins, 25, of Butler County, inside of a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. The other vehicle departed the scene by the time deputies arrived, according to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
Lovely requested response from EMS and a medical helicopter while administering first aid to Watkins, who was shortly thereafter flown to the trauma center for treatment. Watkins survived the shooting.
Taylor was arrested in December after charges were filed against him. According to testimony during the trial, the shooting occurred due to a drug deal that went awry.
After he is released from prison Taylor will be subject to a mandatory five-year period of supervision by the Adult Parole Authority. He has been given 143 days of jail time credit because of time spent in custody in this case prior to the sentencing.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica