Convicted killer sentenced in Eugene to death

EUGENE, Ore. — David Ray Taylor has become the 35th person on Oregon’s death row, and at 58, he could spend decades there.

The Eugene man was formally sentenced Tuesday to be executed for a 2012 killing

Taylor was looking for a getaway car for a bank robbery, but the one he planned to use broke down, prosecutors said.

So, the prosecution said, he chose Celestino Gutierrez, 22, from a bar crowd and told a young associate to get “dolled up” and to lure Gutierrez to his death by pretending to be in distress and in need of a ride.

At Taylor’s home nearby, Gutierrez was killed and his body dismembered to be buried in the woods.

Jurors last week voted for the death penalty, although a lethal injection is not likely soon.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has declared a moratorium while he’s in office, which could be four years more if he’s re-elected in November.

The appeals process itself could take many years beyond that.

Since Oregon voters in 1984 reinstated capital punishment, just two inmates have been executed — both after giving up further appeals. Twenty-five of the 34 male inmates sitting on Oregon’s death row have been there for at least a decade. A woman, Angela McAnulty of Eugene, was convicted in 2011 of killing her teenage daughter.

Taylor previously served 27 years for the killing of a young Eugene woman in 1977.

One of Taylor’s associates has been sentenced to life in prison, and another was granted immunity in exchange for testimony against him.

Another, A.J. Scott Nelson, 24, is to be tried in September on an aggravated murder charge, which could lead to the death penalty.

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