Jury convicts Colo. man in transient’s slaying
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A 19-year-old Colorado Springs man on Tuesday was convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of a homeless man, a crime prosecutors said he bragged about.
An El Paso County jury deliberated for two hours before convicting Taylor Gwaltney in the death of 55-year-old David Doyle.
Moments later, District Judge G. David Miller imposed the mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Miller described the murder as one “committed for reasons beyond my comprehension.”
Prosecutors said Gwaltney bragged to several people after beating Doyle with a baseball bat. One witness said he told her that he had lived up to a tattoo on his arm that read “Butcher King.”
Gwaltney said nothing before he was sentenced.
Doyle’s body was found partially wrapped in a sleeping bag on a pedestrian bridge in Colorado Springs Feb. 5, 2009.
Gwaltney’s attorney, Cindy Jones, acknowledged during closing arguments that Doyle’s blood was found on her client’s pants, but argued that didn’t prove he was the killer. She suggested somebody else killed Doyle.
Prosecutor Amy Fitch said there was plenty of physical evidence linking Gwaltney to the crime. He also boasted about what he did, she added.
“He couldn’t keep his mouth shut,” Fitch said. “He couldn’t get enough of bragging about what he had done.”
Doyle’s brother and sister-in-law thanked the judge, police and prosecutors after the verdict was announced.
This was the second time Gwaltney was tried for Doyle’s death. Earlier this year, a mistrial was declared when the judge ruled that a witness was in danger of incriminating himself on the witness stand. Authorities claimed the witness helped Gwaltney get rid of evidence.