Death penalty sought for Lexington kidnapping and murder suspect

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a man accused in a kidnapping and murder.

Mark Taylor and Timothy Ballard appeared in court Friday morning. Police say the men lured Alex Johnson into their car back in December, beat him to death and dumped his body in the Kentucky River. Taylor is charged with murder and kidnapping. Ballard is charged with kidnapping and evidence tampering. Taylor's new attorney confirmed to us on Friday that the Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney's office is seeking the death penalty against her client.

During Friday's hearing, prosecutors pushed for a trial date in the case. The defense wanted the next status hearing to be scheduled four months from now. Instead, a judge set it for August 29. It's likely a trial date will be set during that hearing.

Mark Taylor
Timothy Ballard

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