A St. Louis teacher who was arrested and charged last November with molesting a 7-year-old student three years earlier has now been charged with trying to a hire a hitman to kill that same student and his family.
This horrific story all started when Deonte Taylor, 36, was a teacher’s assistant at Lusher Elementary in 2015. That’s when he allegedly removed the boy from class and took him to another room where he assaulted him, @ksdknews and @newsweek report. Although the boy and his family reported the incident immediately after the alleged attack, Taylor was not charged until years later and even went on to become a teacher in another district during that time.
Taylor was eventually arrested last November after a DNA test revealed that his sample matched the DNA found on his alleged victim at the time of the incident. Now authorities say while Taylor was awaiting trial in February, he allegedly attempted to arrange for someone to kill the now 10-year-old victim and his family to silence them.
Authorities also claim that Taylor convinced his boyfriend, 66-year-old Michael Johnson, to pay the hitman to carry out the killings, according to the charging document. But the intended hitman ended up becoming a police confidant soon after and exposed the plan.
Taylor is already facing three charges of first-degree statutory sodomy. Between 2015 and 2018, he earned his teaching certificate and became a fifth-grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
Since charges had never been filed against him, he was able to slip through the vetting process.
“Mr. Taylor went through the same process that all of our teaching candidates go through. Everyone goes through a criminal background check, sexual abuse registry background check and there was nothing that showed up on that,” Ferguson-Florissant School District spokesperson Kevin Hampton told KSDK.
In addition to the charges from the 2015 incident, Taylor also faces two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempting to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution. His partner faces the same four charges.
Taylor and Johnson appeared in a St. Louis court last week, where they both pleaded not guilty to the charges. Both men are currently being held without bond.
A GoFundMe page to help the boy and his family has been created by the director of advocacy services at Crisis Aid International in St. Louis. So far, she has raised nearly $1,400 of her $15,000 goal to help the family she says has struggled financially and emotionally since the 2015 incident.
We’ll keep you posted on this story, Roommates.