- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Fayette County judge has sentenced a man convicted of murder and kidnapping in the death of a University of Kentucky chef to 49 years in prison.

Lexington media report the judge followed the jury’s recommendation in handing down the sentence for Robert Markham “Mark” Taylor during Friday’s hearing. Jurors found Taylor guilty in June of charges in the 2013 death of Alex Johnson.

Timothy Ballard, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and evidence tampering in the case in April, testified during Taylor’s trial that he watched Taylor beat Johnson to death. Taylor told jurors he tried to fight off Ballard when Ballard snapped over a comment and hit Johnson repeatedly.

Johnson’s body was found in January 2014 inside a barrel in 4 feet of water in the Kentucky River.

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