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Man charged in decade-old murder of pregnant girlfriend

November 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has announced an arrest in a chilling decade-old murder case.

Derek Smyer, 31, has been charged with the murder of 27-year-old Crystal Taylor and their unborn child.

Smyer allegedly hired 30-year-old Skyler Jefferson Moore to shoot Taylor after she refused to abort her pregnancy. Taylor was shot Sept. 25, 2001, in the carport of her Hawthorne apartment.

"He [Smyer] elicited the murder. He hired the other shooter to kill Crystal, so he's been charged with accessory to murder and solicitation and actually with the murder. He did not want to be a father so he wanted to get rid of Crystal and the baby," said L.A. County Sheriff's Department Detective Dave Coleman.

Moore is already serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder and has also been charged in Taylor's murder.

"I never understood how something like this could happen to such a beautiful person...she didn't deserve to die like that," said Monica Walker, Taylor's sister, in a press conference.

Prior to her death,Taylor had a 10-year-old son, Javonte Woods. Woods said he was robbed of the most important person in his life.

"She was everything I had. It was just me and my mom most of my life. She wasn't just my mother, she was my best friend. I also had my little brother that was also coming."

Detectives said they believe that there are numerous other women in Smyer's past who may have been victimized by Smyer both emotionally, physically and financially.

Police are asking anyone who has knowledge of the murder or has been a victim of Smyer to contact the Sheriff's Department at (800) 222-TIPS.

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