Family Friend of Murder Victim Discusses Trial of Killers

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

HARRISONBURG, Va -- Lorie Ann Taylor-Keller and her husband Nakia Keller will spend the rest of their lives in prison. The couple murdered Taylor-Keller's ex-husband, his new wife and their 5-year-old daughter in 2009.

Taylor-Keller was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences and her husband was sentenced to three.

Family and friends cried throughout the whole sentencing as they shared their thoughts with the defendants, but many of them are satisfied knowing Taylor-Keller and her husband will never walk free again.

Mary Barb is a family friend of the victims and she said she is glad the case has ended.

"I know nothing we do will bring them back, but I think justice was served today," said Barb.

Nothing will bring back the lives of Chip Taylor, his wife Allaina and her daughter Kaylee. Barb said she was like a second mom to Chip and sending Chip's killers to prison for life was not enough.

"I would rather have seen them put to death."

U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy said their sentence is just, but it will never make things easier for the victims' family.

"This is the kind of case that touches everybody. An innocent child killed,” said Heaphy. “So while we can't replace those losses, while we can't fill those holes in your heart, we can stand with you."

Barb and many other friends and family of the victims stood up to share their pain with the court. Many of them were surprised that Taylor-Keller showed no emotion.

"She never had nothing,” said Barb. “No remorse. Not so ever and that's what made it so hard on me. I thought at least she would shed a tear and I don't think she did."

Taylor-Keller and her husband pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges in June. They admitted to crossing state borders to kill Taylor-Keller's ex husband and his family, including 5-year-old Kaylee Whetzel.

They were also guilty of setting their home on fire in Hardy County to cover up the murder.

"It's really bad that two adults were killed, but when you do this to a child, you cannot have a heart."

Barb holds a picture of Kaylee's grave, all that is left of the little girl now. She said they will never stop missing her, Chip and Allaina, but she is glad after three years, this murder case can be put to rest.

"I know God did not let this happen, but they're all three together now and they don't have to worry about Lorie trying to separate them or come in between them. They're happy. They're all happy now, finally at peace."

When the judge gave Taylor-Keller the chance to make a statement on Thursday, she said nothing and offered no apologies to the victims' family. Her husband, Nakia, did tear at one moment and showed a little more remorse than his wife.


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