Murder of KJ Taylor by Dekotis Thomas investigated on See No Evil

Mugshot of Dekotis Thomas
Dekotis Thomas will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Pic credit: WV Dept. of Corrections

See No Evil is examining the murder of teenager Kelvin “KJ” Taylor, an innocent bystander who was gunned down by Dekotis Thomas in a drive-by shooting in Charleston, West Virginia.

On the evening of April 7, 2021, Charleston cops received a call about a shooting on the city’s Central Avenue. On their arrival, the police found that high school student, 18-year-old Taylor, had been shot and killed.

Surveillance footage showed a gray Ford F-150 had approached Taylor before the driver began firing a gun out of the side window. Multiple bullets struck the teenager before the killer fled the scene.

The cops learned the shooter was Dekotis Thomas and that his intended target had actually been Keyshawnta St. John. Taylor had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

St. John was murdered a year later at 21 years old. Mikeo Wooton and Davone Lee Foote were later charged with his first-degree murder.

In the meantime, Thomas was apprehended for Taylor’s murder by the cops in Akron, Ohio. He was arrested following a violent standoff with police after throwing Molotov cocktails at arresting officers and lighting a house fire.

Dekotis Thomas agreed to a guilty plea in KJ Taylor murder

Thomas was also implicated in the 2019 shooting murder of 28-year-old Antwan Curnell in Charleston. However, this charge and others were dropped after he agreed to plead guilty to Taylor’s murder.

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The killer entered a Kennedy plea, which meant he didn’t specifically admit guilt but acknowledged that the evidence presented by prosecutors would likely persuade a jury to find him guilty.

Thomas’s lawyer requested that he be considered for parole after 15 years, citing the killer’s difficult upbringing as a reason for leniency.

Dekotis Thomas smiling
Dekotis Thomas has a violent criminal record. Pic credit: Charleston Police Dept

However, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit opted for life in prison without the possibility of parole. The judge ruled that Thomas’s lengthy record of violence meant he should be permanently excluded from society.

Judge said Dekotis Thomas intended to murder on the day of KJ Taylor killing

Prior to the sentencing, Thomas apologized to Taylor’s family and insisted it was a genuine mistake to kill him. Judge Tabit told Thomas that his intention on the day of the shooting had always been to murder someone.

Tabit also referenced Thomas’s own words before his trial to justify not allowing parole. He had callously said, “KJ was a casualty of war, and all wars have casualties. Mr. St. John was a dead man walking and nobody should be walking beside a dead man walking.”

See No Evil airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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