Murder suspect charged with rape

By Katherine Wartell

A Manhattan man already accused of a 2011 murder was also charged Wednesday with the 2010 rape of a 57-year-old woman.

The suspect was identified as Justin Charles Taylor, 25.

Taylor has been in the custody of the Riley County Jail since Aug. 17, 2011 on charges of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Kevin Cockrum. The 31-year-old former combat medic was found unconscious in an alleyway in Aggieville on Aug. 11. He died from extensive head trauma the next day.

Lt. Josh Kyle said the rape charge involved an incident July 25, 2010 at the intersection of Denholm Drive and Kimball Avenue. He said the arrest followed a nearly two-year long investigation.

Taylor’s first appearance on the rape charge is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. at Riley County District Court.

Taylor’s second degree murder trial is set to begin April 10, 2012.

During a November preliminary hearing, prosecutors alleged that Taylor killed Cockrum with two hard blows to the head with Cockrum’s own flashlight while Cockrum lay unconscious from a previous blow inflicted by Levertis Horne, another Manhattan man.

During that hearing, Horne said the two men had gotten into an altercation with Cockrum after Horne had called the woman Cockrum was with an expletive.









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