Taylor trial: Investigators say crime scene limited to small area

Jackson County Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger testified Thursday.

RIPLEY, W.Va. — A Jackson County man accused in the murder of a 10-month-old girl in 2016 was arrested 95 minutes after the crime was reported, jurors learned in day two of the trial Thursday in Ripley.

Prosecutors called several investigators to the stand who were on the scene the night Benjamin Taylor, 33, of Cottageville, allegedly sexually assaulted Emmaleigh Barringer. She died a few days later. He’s charged with murder and sexual assault.

On cross-examination of those police officers,Taylor’s attorney Tim Rosinsky asked them why they chose not to canvass the community or check for other possible suspects. Rosinsky claims Taylor has been falsely accused.

Jackson County Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger, who was a department investigator at the time of the Barringer death in October 2016, said the crime scene didn’t involve the neighborhood.

“It was even more restrictive than the residence itself. It was more restrictive than just one level of the residence. It was restricted to one room of the residence, in particular one area of that one room,” Mellinger told the 12-member jury.

Mellinger also testified once he interviewed Taylor at the scene he knew there was no need to canvass the community.

WSAZ-TV reporter Leanne Shinkle said Rosinsky questioned another police officer about access to the crime scene and if a backdoor to the residence had been checked.

“She said, ‘No one came in but I guess that is a possibility. I could not see that backdoor with my own two eyes,'” Shinkle said.

Taylor and the girl’s mother, Amanda Adkins, lived together in an apartment in Fairplain. Adkins testified Wednesday she found Taylor wiping blood off her daughter the night of the assault. Other testimony Wednesday indicted the Barringer’s injuries were consistent with being sexually assaulted by an adult male.

The trial is scheduled to continue Friday morning in Jackson County Circuit Court.

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