RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) – A 14-year-old boy pleaded not guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the beating and shooting death of his mother, a killing that authorities say was recorded on a 911 tape in New York state.

Christian James Taylor is charged in the Saturday morning death of his mother, Francine Morgan, 40, at the home they shared near the New York state line in Wells.

A police affidavit filed in the case did not offer a direct motive for the attack. It described how Taylor told state police investigators he didn’t remember what happened to his mother, but “he either dreamed or remembered hearing his mother scream.”

“He continued on to say that he had a feeling of his mom in a frantic struggle with the shadowy figure, his mom fighting, trying not to give up,” said the affidavit, written by Vermont State Police Sgt. Daniel Elliott. “He further stated that he felt that his mother was getting fatigued, she was pinned against the wall, and she was trying to break away.”

When asked by investigators if he could have been the person in his vision, Taylor answered it was possible.

An autopsy showed Morgan died from head injuries caused by multiple blows from a blunt object and a gunshot wound to the face, the affidavit said.

Morgan called 911 at 3:55 a.m. Saturday from her cell phone. The call was picked up at a 911 dispatch center in Washington County, New York.

“In listening to the beginning of this tape a woman’s loud screaming voice is heard,” the affidavit said. “During the screaming, noises that are consistent with an object striking another can be heard. As the tape continues, these noises change to a different type of sound. A short time later the female’s voice stops. There were no responses to the 911 dispatcher.”

Police found Morgan dead in her bedroom. There was a large aluminum flashlight found near the bed covered in what police said appeared to be blood.

Morgan’s husband Brian, who was working at the time of the alleged killing, told investigators there were two firearms in the house. But police said no firearms were found.

Taylor told investigators there was a difference of “opinion or lifestyle” between the “person” and who was angry with his mother.

Defense attorney Joyce Brenner said the case would be taken over by a different attorney and didn’t contest the prosecution’s desire to hold Taylor pending a further court hearing.

During the court hearing, Rutland County State’s Attorney James Mongeon asked that if Taylor is freed on bail, one condition of his release be that he not be allowed to use computers. He didn’t elaborate.

AP-ES-08-04-08 1509EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.