Man accused of murdering child held to answer

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A Canyon Country man accused of killing his 2-month old daughter in September 2021 was held to answer on Wednesday, meaning that his case is scheduled to head to trial.  

According to the autopsy report and testimony in court on Wednesday, the man’s daughter, Jelani Taylor, died of blunt head and neck trauma and had brain swelling, bleeding of the brain, bleeding in the back of the eyes, and fresh bleeding around the nerves of her spinal cord at the time of her death.   

Her father, Marcel Taylor, was held to answer by Judge Andrew Cooper in a San Fernando courtroom on Wednesday, with the judge stating there was enough evidence to hold the 27-year-old man to answer on one count each of murder and assault of a child causing death. 

Taylor was arrested and charged after his daughter was found unresponsive by paramedics at a home on the 18000 block of Grace Lane in Canyon Country on Sept. 26, 2021. 

The baby was transported to the hospital, but ultimately died a few days later at L.A. Children’s Hospital. The cause of death was listed by investigators at the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office as “blunt force trauma.” Prosecutors alleged that the baby had died from blunt force trauma to the back of her head.  

In November, his defense attorney had filed a request for reduced bail, stating that Taylor had no previous criminal record and had been considered a proud father. That motion was later denied.   

Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami stated, in his written response to defense legal counsel, that Taylor had told deputies he had been alone when watching the child, that he had shaken her and he had killed her.   

Multiple hearings for Taylor’s case were delayed due to reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in his pretrial holding module.   

His next arraignment — where a defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty — is scheduled for Oct. 12.  

He is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

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