Where is Kalila Taylor now? Her parole eligibility

Kalila Taylor

When Curtisha Morning’s body was discovered five weeks after her disappearance in 1996, the Riverhead, New York, community feared that it had a sexual killer in its midst. Curtisha, the homecoming queen at her school, was stabbed 96 times before the killer dumped her body near a field and covered it with leaves and branches. 

Kalila Taylor’s arrest for Curtisha’s murder stunned the community. Prosecutors posited that Taylor’s motives were jealousy and love: she was angry that Carl Brown, the father of Taylor’s child, now only had eyes for Curtisha. 

Following two trials, Kalila Taylor was sentenced to 25 years to life for second-degree murder. 

Kalila Taylor is eligible for parole, but it’s unclear whether she has petitioned for release

In August 2012, a New York court sentenced Kalila Taylor to a minimum of 25 years in prison. Taylor said nothing when allowed to speak. 

Katisha, Taylor’s sister, said Taylor insisted she was innocent. “She’s been saying she’s innocent since day one,” Katisha told CBS News. “I feel in my heart she’s innocent. Hopefully we get another appeal.”

Taylor’s attorney, John Loturco, told the outlet that he would appeal the conviction and sentence but didn’t specify the grounds for a potential appeal. “We understand the tremendous amount of evidence to the contrary, but she professes her innocence,” John said. 

Patrina Morning, Curtisha’s sister, celebrated the sentence, stating justice had been served. “That is all I can say. Justice has been served,” Patrina said. “Right now she [Curtisha] is able to rest in peace.” Taylor got credit for time served; she would be eligible for parole eight years after her sentencing. 

Records show that Taylor is incarcerated at Albion Correctional Facility and has been eligible for parole since 31st May 2022. However, it’s unclear whether she’s applied for parole. Kalila Taylor’s life in prison is a mystery. 

One of the prerequisites for parole is good behavior. Before her arrest for murder, Taylor had assaulted several people. In 1992, she stabbed a woman in the hand and slashed another’s face. Two years later, she stabbed another woman and violated the terms of her probation. 

A month before Curtisha’s disappearance, Taylor stabbed Carl Brown during an argument over Curtisha. In March 1997, she was involved in a bar brawl, and a month later, she fired a gun near a crowd. “We believe she is an extremely violent and out-of-control young lady,” then Suffolk County DA, Christopher Powers, told The New York Times

If Taylor still retains her penchant for violence, it’s unlikely she’ll get paroled. Before her second trial in 2012, Taylor received psychiatric care in prison. After completing a medication and therapy regimen, the judge deemed her fit for trial. Taylor’s current mental state is unclear. 

Taylor’s first conviction was overturned due to a mistake by the trial judge

In 1997, District Attorney James M. Catterson said that despite lacking eyewitness testimony, prosecutors had enough scientific evidence to secure a conviction. He told The New York Times:

“This is a very difficult kind of case to bring home when you don’t have actual eyewitnesses who observed the event. But many times, the evidence left behind is more compelling than that of an eyewitness, whose memory may or may not be clouded by the passage of time.”

Taylor was convicted, but the New York Appellate Division overturned the conviction, citing improper instructions to the jury. The court found that Judge Arthur Pitts had erroneously told the jury to consider DNA evidence as direct evidence instead of circumstantial evidence. 

“Under the circumstances of this case, it cannot be said that this error was harmless,” the decision read. 

The Riverhead News-Review reported that Kalila Taylor rejected two plea deals that reduced her minimum sentence to 18 years. Curtisha’s family flew from North Carolina to Riverhead to attend Taylor’s second trial. Struggling to cope with Curtisha’s murder, they’d moved away from Riverhead. 

“I’m very pleased that the jury was able to deliver a verdict with such confidence so quickly,” Suffolk County district attorney Janet Albertson told The Riverhead News-Review after Taylor’s second conviction. “There’s a tremendous sense of relief for the [Morning] family.”