BOSTON, Jan. 25, 2013—A Winthrop man was sentenced to life in prison today after a jury found him guilty of murdering 36-year-old Casey Taylor, whose badly decomposed body was found under a porch more than a week after the 2011 slaying, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
Jurors found John Lacoy guilty of the indicted charge of second-degree murder for stabbing Taylor once in the heart inside Lacoy’s bedroom at 429 Winthrop St. on July 31, 2011. Taylor’s body was discovered on Aug. 9 after neighbors reported an overpowering odor coming from beneath the porch of Lacoy’s building.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Raymond Brassard imposed the mandatory sentence of life in prison. Lacoy will be eligible for – though not guaranteed – parole after 15 years.
“This was the right verdict on the facts and the evidence,” Conley said. “It’s clear the jury gave this case its undivided attention, and on behalf of Mr. Taylor’s family we are grateful. I hope this result comes as some small comfort amid their loss that justice was done for him in a Suffolk County courthouse.”
Though discharged after rendering their verdict, several members of the deliberating jury remained behind to see Lacoy sentenced and to hear Taylor’s family address the court.
“Casey’s alcoholism was a harsh master,” the victim’s older sister said in an impact statement to Judge Raymond Brassard. “Hearing him referred to as homeless throughout the trial was heartbreaking. Casey had several homes available to him but the shame of his disease kept him from them. Although he was my little brother, Casey was fiercely protective and always my most reliable confidant.”
With her voice cracking, she added, “I never thought this would be the way we said goodbye to him.”
During the course of the week-long trial, Assistant District Attorney Ursula Knight of Conley’s Homicide Unit presented recordings of phone calls preceding the killing in which Lacoy said he felt Taylor – with whom he had a volatile personal relationship – was using him to obtain money and alcohol.
Evidence also showed that, after the stabbing, Lacoy removed sheets from the bed and flipped the mattress in an attempt to hide the crime scene, but missed blood on the bedroom floor. Lacoy took the stand during the trial and admitted that the victim “bit me and I snapped.”
After the killing, Lacoy called a friend and said that Taylor had drowned at the beach, which Knight in her closing argument called “the words of a liar, the actions of a guilty man.”
Lacoy later checked into a hospital in order to hide from authorities. While there, he emailed another friend to say he heard Taylor’s corpse had been found and that, “He can’t leech off me anymore.” That email was sent six days prior to the gruesome discovery of Taylor’s body.
The investigation was led by State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk DA’s office and Winthrop Police detectives. Conley praised both, saying their meticulous documentation of physical and electronic evidence paved the way for a successful prosecution.
Katherine Moran was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Lacoy was represented by John Tardiff.