Clifton Avenue Homicide Defendant Accepts Plea

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On Sept. 7, a home invasion homicide defendant stood before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer

According to the Maryland Judiciary website, Butler was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, use of a firearm in a felony violent crime, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first-degree attempted murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to use a firearm in a felony violent crime, first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary, having a loaded handgun on his person and possessing a firearm with a felony conviction in connection to the incident. 

The assistant state’s attorney stated that the incident occurred on Nov. 5, 2019. Aaron Butler and his co-defendant Khalil Madden were caught on camera committing a home invasion by attempting to break into a residence where the victim, 31-year-old Jordan Taylor, lived on the 4800 block of Clifton Avenue. 

The prosecutor said the defendant used a crowbar to attempt the break-in while armed with several firearms. However when he was unable to open the door because Taylor was leaning against it, holding it closed, Butler fired into the door and the window. The prosecutor also stated that Butler shot the victim in the back of the head and pointed a gun at the victim’s wife. 

Taylor’s neighbors had surveillance footage, which identified the defendant and Madden, according to the prosecutor. They also stated that there was a third defendant, however, he died before the trial. His significance to the case was that he had been contacted by Butler for a ride on the night of the incident. 

The prosecutor offered Butler a plea of life in prison, suspending all but 35 years with five years of supervised probation for first-degree murder. Butler would also be required to have no contact with the state’s witness upon release.

The deal would run concurrently to 20 years for armed robbery, and 20 years, the first five years without the possibility of parole, for firearm use in a felony violent crime, and 20 years for conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary.

Butler accepted the plea, in part to prevent putting the victim’s family through trial, said his defense attorney Andrea Jaskulsky

According to his coworker, Taylor worked for 10 years at the YMCA in Catonsville. He worked up from a camp counselor to a program coordinator for preschool, camp, youth sports, afterschool programs and other programs. 

“Our youngest members didn’t understand what Jordan’s death meant,” the coworker of the victim said. “[They] asked if he would be coming back to teach them.”

Victim impact statements from Taylor’s family expressed the impact to their family of his death.

“He was the soul of our family,” Taylor’s father expressed. 

Butler wrote a letter to Judge Schiffer apologizing to the family. “I must be held accountable. I am a human. I regret it all,” he said in the letter. 

Judge Schiffer ended the hearing by saying, “The impact of this loss of life is profound. The taking of his life was as senseless as it was tragic. Jordan Taylor died a hero.”

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