- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Fayette County jury has convicted a man of murder and kidnapping in the death 2 ½ years ago of a University of Kentucky chef.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/1rqDfqi ) reports jurors deliberated less than four hours on Wednesday before finding Robert Markham “Mark” Taylor guilty. He was also convicted of tampering with evidence in the December 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.

Taylor also said he hit Ballard to get him off Johnson and tried to revive the chef with CPR.

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

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.com

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