Benjamin R. Taylor, a 32-year-old man from Virginia, currently faces life in prison after allegedly raping and beating to death his girlfriend’s 10-month-old baby. But a new petition is calling for the man’s public hanging despite the state abolishing the death penalty more than 50 years ago, saying “prison is too good” of a punishment for his horrifying crime.
“Prison is too good for child rapists and their ilk,” the petition on We The People, which already has more than 36,000 signatures, reads. “When it’s an open and shut case such as this, let us hang these creatures publicly… Let us make examples of them, and allow the American people to attend these hangings so that the accused may be ridiculed, as they should be.” If the petition gets 100,000 signatures in 30 days, it will require an official response from the Obama Administration.
Emmaleigh Barringer died earlier this week after her mother, Amanda Leigh Adkins, woke up Monday morning and found her baby naked and bleeding on her basement floor. The baby suffered extensive bleeding (which indicated sexual assault), and showed signs of being shaken and struck in the face. She was declared braindead at the hospital and passed away that Wednesday.
When authorities arrived at the couple’s house, Taylor was found trying to “wipe something” off his groin. Police later determined the substance was the baby’s blood. They also found blankets and clothes covered in blood near the child.
Taylor, who is not Emmaleigh’s biological father, originally told police that he didn’t know how badly the baby was injured, then later claimed that he “blacked out” while doing laundry with her nearby. He was arrested shortly thereafter and is currently being held without bond at South Central Regional jail. Adkins’ three other children were also in the house at the time of the assault.
Rick Grunes, who appears to be Emmaleigh’s grandfather, started a GoFundMe page in her honor to help pay for medical and funeral expenses. It has already surpassed its $20,000 goal by more than $7,000. From the GoFundMe page:
At this time, we regret to say that the injuries sustained from the attack on our child, Emmaleigh Elizabeth Barringer, have resulted in her death. First, we would like to thank the Jackson County police for their thorough investigation. We believe that it points directly to Benjamin Taylor as the person responsible for this heinous act.
Second, we want to thank the hospital and staff at CAMC for their efforts in attempting to save and sustain the life of our child. Finally, we would like to assure anyone with any doubt that this crime against an innocent child was solely perpetrated by a monster who had disguised himself as a caring and supporting friend.
Emmaleigh’s mother and surviving siblings were victims in this and are guilty of only placing trust in the hands of a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing.’
He ended the post with #ChildLivesMatter and #JusticeforEmmaleigh.
Adkins’ family, who is clearly grief-stricken after the tragedy, say that Taylor appeared to be a “Prince Charming” who swept Adkins off her feet. “She was so lit up inside — he wanted to do things with her, he hung out with the kids,” Adkins’ cousin Danielle Adkins told WSAZ.
A candlelight vigil will be held in Emmaleigh’s memory before her funeral this weekend.
Update: The original petition has been shut down. The latest version can be found here.
[H/T: Daily Mail]