Teacher Charged With Hiring Hit man to Kill 10-year-old Student

St. Louis teacher, Deonte Taylor, was arrested last November and was charged with molesting a 7-year-old student three years prior. While waiting for the trial to begin, Taylor and his partner were then charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill his former student and his whole family. Deonte Taylor, age 36, was a teacher’s assistant at Lusher Elementary in 2015. Allegedly, he removed a 7-year-old male student from his class and took him to an empty and dark classroom where he engaged the boy in sexual activities, according to KSDK.

The boy was not named, and his family reported the incident to police after the boy explained what happened to him. Sadly, Taylor was not charged until 3 years later. In November of 2018, police arrested Taylor after the DNA test revealed that his sample match the DNA found on his victim at the time of the incident. Deonte Taylor now faces three charges of first-degree statutory sodomy. This is defined as, “if being twenty-one years of age or older, he or she has deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.”

Between the years of 2015 and 2018, Taylor earned his teaching certificate and became a fifth grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Since charges had never been filed against him, he was able to slip through the vetting process. “Mr. Taylor went through the same process that all of our teaching candidates go through. Everyone goes through a criminal background check, sexual abuse registry background check and there was nothing that showed up on that,” Ferguson-Florissant School District spokesperson Kevin Hampton said.

Taylor was in jail waiting for his trial in February when he allegedly arranged for someone to kill the now 10-year-old victim and his entire family in a bid to silence them. Taylor then convinced his boyfriend, Michael Johnson, age 66, to pay the man to carry out the killings, which he did. But the intended hitman became a police confidant soon after, exposing the plan.

Taylor and Johnson both face the same charges above, as well as two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempting to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution. The two men appeared in a St. Louis court on Wednesday, and both pleaded not guilty to the charges. Cindy Malott, director of advocacy services at Crisis Aid International in St. Louis launched a GoFundMe page to help the victim and the family cover the expenses they have accumulated over the past 3 years.