Father accused of murder sees bail motion denied

Court gavel
Signal File Photo.

A bail reduction request by a Canyon Country father accused of murdering his infant was denied by a judge Wednesday morning, with future court proceedings being scheduled for next year.  

Marcel Taylor, 26, was charged last month with one count each of murder and assault of a child causing death after his 2-month-old daughter, Jelani, was found unresponsive by paramedics at a home on the 18000 block of Grace Lane in Canyon Country on Sept. 26.  

The arguments that took place in court Wednesday involved Taylor’s motion to have his bail reduced from $2 million to $30,000, with his attorney arguing that there was no previous criminal record or complaints of abuse.  

However, Judge Cynthia Ulfig ultimately sided with the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami, who argued in his counter motion that the bail should be maintained at $2 million due to the clear danger Taylor poses to the public. 

While the defense called Taylor, in the bail motion, a “proud father” who was a caring partner to his girlfriend, Hatami argued in his counter filing that the child had died due to blunt force trauma to the head and the defendant had admitted to killing his daughter while in law enforcement custody.  

Ulfig decided to hold Taylor in lieu of the $2 million bail, and ordered that a prelim setting be scheduled for Jan. 24.  

A prelim setting is a hearing date to schedule a preliminary hearing — when the evidence is presented to the judge who decides whether the trial will move ahead. 

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