Man sentenced to 46 years for brutal murder of girlfriend - Dallas News |

Man sentenced to 46 years for brutal murder of girlfriend

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Derrick C. Taylor Derrick C. Taylor
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A north suburban man was sentenced to 46 years in prison Friday for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, who was beaten and slashed so badly that she was nearly decapitated, the News-Sun is reporting.

Derrick Taylor, 40, of Beach Park, was convicted by a Lake County jury of first-degree murder in November and faced 20 to 60 years in prison.

In handing down the 46-year sentence, Judge Mark Levitt noted the brutal nature of the murder and the need to not only deter others but protect society from Taylor.

Levitt called the murder of 43-year-old Joy Lee, a Bristol, Wis. mother, "one of the saddest situations" he has addressed.

Lee was murdered on the evening of March 11, 2012, on a street in the Trumpet Industrial Park in Zion.

Her autopsy report noted that, along with a large number of other knife and blunt force injuries, she was nearly decapitated.

Taylor was convicted by a jury in less than three hours on all three counts of murder lodged against him — that he meant to kill or cause great bodily harm, that he knew his actions could cause death, and that he knew his actions could result in great bodily harm or death.

During Taylor's trial, Assistant State's Attorney Reginald Mathews said Lee was in an abusive relationship with Taylor, and that she provided him with sex and prescription medicine to sell for profit.

He said evidence showed that Taylor sent text messages asking Lee to meet him the evening of March 11, 2012, and that he was upset with her and planned to punish her.

Mathews said Taylor beat her "savagely" on a quiet stretch of Trumpet Drive and then used a sharp object to slash her so severely that her head was almost severed.

After the sentencing, Taylor's attorney, Louis Pissios, filed notice that the conviction would be appealed, and also said he was withdrawing from the case and asked that an appellate public defender be assigned to represent Taylor on appeal.

In a motion drafted by Taylor himself earlier this month, Taylor claimed Pissios had not adequately represented him at trial, a motion Levitt dismissed as baseless.

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