Homicide Trial Begins in 2019 Case of YMCA Director Shot Trying to Keep Burglary Suspects Out of Couple’s Home

Baltimore Courthouse

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Jordan Taylor and his wife were sitting in their living room on a late November evening in 2019 when three men shot their way into the couple’s home in Southwest Baltimore, killing Taylor.

More than three years later, 29-year-old Kahlil Madden, one of the three suspects accused of Taylor’s murder, began his trial on April 12 before a jury and Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Schiffer.

In addition to first-degree murder, Madden is facing conspiracy to first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, burglary, assault, and weapons charges.

The day began like any other with Taylor, a director at the YMCA, going to work on Nov. 5, 2019, the prosecutor told jurors during her opening statement. Around 9:40 p.m. that evening, the Taylor’s saw someone trying to pry open a door into their home on the 4800 block of Clifton Avenue.

The 31-year-old victim attempted to use his body weight to keep the intruders out, but fell to the ground when some of the suspects opened fire through the door, striking Taylor. With the victim unconscious, the prosecutor said, the suspects demanded to know where the couple kept their safe, but Taylor’s wife told them there was no safe as she stood in shock.

The three suspects then ransacked the home before realizing that the victim’s wife had called 911. The suspects drove away from the scene in what witnesses’ described as “a light-colored SUV.”

“This burglary went horribly wrong,” the prosecutor said.

She further explained how Baltimore Police detectives had limited sources for their investigation given that the only description of the suspects was that two of them were wearing masks. However, using city surveillance footage, the police were able to learn that the suspects’ vehicle was a light, possibly blue, Honda CRV. Detectives also reviewed a neighbor’s security camera footage that showed some individuals peering through back windows into the Taylor’s home days prior to the fatal shooting.

Aaron Butler, 50, and Donta Holdclaw, 47, were also identified by police. Butler recently accepted a plea deal on April 11, while Holdclaw’s case was dismissed after he died of a heart attack in 2022.

Defense attorney Staci Pipkin told the jury that everyone agreed this was a horrible crime, yet, any agreements between the prosecution and defense counsel ended when it came to Madden’s alleged involvement.

“You’re not going to hear a single witness take that stand and say Mr. Madden was in that house,” Pipkin said Wednesday morning.

No firearms were tied to the defendant nor was any of his DNA or fingerprints found at the crime scene, she added.

Pipkin asked jurors to follow the court’s jury standards, specifically, Madden’s presumption of innocence, the prosecution’s burden of proof, and the review of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Madden’s trial proceeded with the prosecution playing 911 calls from the incident.

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