A man who killed a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student during a Craigslist deal in 2015 has been found guilty by a St. Louis County jury, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
A jury convicted Michael Gordon, 27, of first-degree murder murder and armed criminal action Monday in the shooting death of 19-year-old student Taylor Clark, who was a sophomore at SIUE.
Gordon lured Clark to an abandoned railroad spur in Hazelwood to buy Clark’s sports car via Craigslist, then he shot him once in the face, dumped his body and tried to cover the crime up, the Post-Dispatch reported. He was arrested on May 7, 2015 and charged with the murder.
Prosecutors had Gordon’s emails, calls and texts to connect him to Clark’s death. Gordon did not testify.
Jurors were shown surveillance video of Gordon taking two trips to Walmart on the night Clark disappeared in May 2015, where he bought a 50-gallon plastic tote, three bottles of bleach, latex gloves and a shovel, the Post-Dispatch reported.
Gordon’s lawyer Matt Vigil told jurors that police had no physical evidence tying Gordon to Clark, and that his client had not committed the crime. He said the police were focusing so much on Gordon being guilty, that they ignored all other signs that could have pointed to the real culprit.
Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, the Post-Dispatch reported, so the automatic sentence for a first degree murder conviction is life without parole.