RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The fate of an ex-Marine accused of raping and murdering a young Long Island mother two years ago is now in the hands of a jury.
Dante Taylor, 21, of Mastic, faces life in prison without parole if he is convicted of first degree murder charges in connection to the 2014 death of 21-year-old Sarah Goode, of Medford.
Investigators said physical evidence, DNA, and cell phone records linked Taylor to the crime. The ex-Marine was later arrested in Florida, where his mother admitted to sending him until it was “safe to come back,” WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
Prosecutors alleged Taylor raped Goode after a party then stabbed her 40 times, pulling much of the hair out of her head when she tried to get away after rejecting his advances.
The defense stated that Taylor had consensual sex with Goode and did not rape or kill her on the night she disappeared. They also conceded that evidence collected from his client was done so illegally and other suspects were never interviewed.
Taylor initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. He was originally charged with second-degree murder.
A jury in Riverhead was handed the case on Tuesday and will begin deliberations on Wednesday.
Goode was a medical technician and the single mother of a 4-year-old girl.