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On March 2, 2023, a Heard County jury found Micah Blake Taylor, 30, of Lincoln, Alabama, guilty of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, two counts of Aggravated Assault, and Concealing the Death of Another. Taylor’s codefendant, Jenae Dickinson, of Roanoke, Alabama, previously pled guilty to Aggravated Assault and Concealing the Death of Another with an agreement to be sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation in exchange for her truthful testimony in Taylor’s trial. The victim, Regina Trotter, 47 at the time of her death, from Heflin, Alabama, had been found deceased in Heard County 2 miles from the Georgia-Alabama line on February 1, 2021.
The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Craford with lead investigator Lt. Dan Boswell of the Heard County Sheriff’s Department. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), led by Agent Larry Duren, assisted in the investigation. Superior Court Judge Dustin “Dusty” Hightower presided over the trial and sentenced Taylor to Life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 10 years in prison. The trial was attended by multiple members of Trotter’s family, three of whom gave statements to the Court during the sentencing hearing, which was conducted following the guilty verdict. The evidence presented at trial showed the following:
Two hunters found Trotter’s body discarded on a desolate dirt road in Heard County. Investigators, and a GBI Crime Scene Specialist, found a ligature tied tightly in a knot around Trotter’s throat and saw two stab wounds to Trotter’s neck and face. Next to the body, they recovered brass knuckles and a can of Great Value brand potatoes. GBI crime lab analysts later located Taylor’s DNA on the brass knuckles. Trotter was on her back but had no dirt on the soles of her shoes, which suggested to investigators that she had been thrown from a vehicle.
Weeks before Trotter’s murder, Trotter had allowed Taylor to live in her trailer in Heflin, Alabama with her and her roommate. On the morning of January 31, 2021, Taylor took the keys for Trotter’s brown 2004 Ford Freestar van and drove the van to Dickinson’s residence in Roanoke, AL. Text messages from the Verizon accounts of Taylor and Trotter, obtained by investigators, revealed that Trotter repeatedly texted Taylor to bring her van back to the trailer because he took it without permission. Multiple witnesses, including Trotter’s roommate, testified that Trotter said that day that Taylor had stolen her van. Dickinson testified that when she asked Taylor about the van, Taylor stated that he “hoped” the van would be his soon.
In the evening of January 31, 2021, Taylor and Dickinson drove the van back to Trotter’s residence at which time Trotter told Taylor he could not live at her trailer anymore. Dickinson, who had never previously met Trotter, asked Trotter for a ride back to her house in Roanoke, AL, and Trotter agreed to do so. In her last series of text messages to friends, Trotter conveyed that Taylor had returned in the van and that she was giving “them” a ride to Wedowee, AL. Dickinson testified that Trotter initially believed Dickinson’s residence to be in Wedowee.
A few miles from Dickinson’s residence, Taylor instructed Trotter to turn left, which took them into Heard County, Georgia, rather than to turn right, which would have led to Dickinson’s residence. Dickinson testified that Taylor, who sitting in the seat behind Trotter, put a rope around Trotter’s neck and instructed Dickinson to put the van in park, which Dickinson did. Dickinson drove the van down the road until Taylor pulled Trotter’s body from the van onto the road where it was located on February 1st. Dickinson testified that she did not know that Taylor also stabbed Trotter before discarding her body. Dickinson testified that she was dropped at her house later that night and that Taylor left with the van.
Trotter’s roommate, who was not at the trailer when Taylor and Dickinson brought the van back to Trotter, testified to arriving home to the trailer around midnight to find Taylor in Trotter’s van without Trotter but with Trotter’s purse. Taylor told the roommate he was unsure of Trotter’s location. Taylor ultimately left the trailer in the van and was arrested on February 4, 2021, by Alabama authorities for theft of the van. A search of the van revealed a towel, which tested positive for blood and for the DNA of Taylor and Trotter. Also in the van were three cans of Great Value brand potatoes.
The District Attorney is thankful for the people of Heard County, especially its law enforcement community and this jury, for giving Regina Trotter and her family justice. While the motive for this heinous and brutal murder is beyond understanding, given that a 2004 van is all that Taylor gained from it, a commonality among the defendant, victim, and all their testifying associates was addiction to Methamphetamine. This drug, and many other highly addictive drugs like it, remain a scourge on our circuit and many other communities. As stated during sentencing by the judge, Taylor’s mother, and Trotter’s family- it is likely the case that but for the ravages of Methamphetamine addiction, Trotter would be alive and Taylor would not be spending the rest of his life in prison.
JOHN HERBERT CRANFORD, JR.
COWETA JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
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