Closing a chapter on an especially bloody crime, the state’s highest court tossed out the death sentence yesterday that was imposed on a man for his role in the murders of five workers at a Wendy’s restaurant in Queens seven years ago.
The divided decision by the Court of Appeals not only ordered the man, John B. Taylor, to be resentenced — almost certainly to life in prison without parole — but also reaffirmed a landmark decision three years ago that effectively invalidated the state’s death penalty law.
State’s Highest Court Tosses Out Death Sentence in Killings at a Queens Wendy’s
Mr. Taylor, the last remaining man on New York State’s death row, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death at his trial in Queens in 2002. He and an accomplice, Craig Godineaux, were found to have forced seven people into a walk-in freezer at the Wendy’s in Flushing, bound and gagged them, then forced them onto their knees before shooting each in the head.
Two of the victims survived and testified at Mr. Taylor’s trial. (Mr. Godineaux, who is mildly retarded, pleaded guilty to murder in the case and is serving a life sentence without parole.)
Convicted Murderer In Wendy's Massacre To Be Re-Sentenced To Life