Murder trial begins in 2017 stabbing death

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A jury was selected Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing a Wilson man during a January 2017 robbery.

Matthew Joseph Taylor, who was 19 years old at the time of his arrest, will stand trial this week in Wilson County Superior Court in connection to the stabbing death of 43-year-old Stephanick Timothy Jones of Wilson.

Taylor is charged with first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery and second-degree burglary. The Rocky Mount man has entered not-guilty pleas on all charges.

The jury — made up of seven women and five men — was empaneled late Monday afternoon. Two alternate jurors were also selected.

The state will call its first witness in the case Tuesday morning. Superior Court Judge Walter H. Godwin is presiding over the trial.


Police were called to the Salvation Army Jan. 11, 2017 and found Jones suffering from severe knife wounds, according to officials. He was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he died two days later.

Police also charged several others in the case, including 22-year-old Robert Earl McDonald, 20-year-old Elijah Joshua Woodie and 18-year-old Raymond De’Shod Atkinson, all of Rocky Mount; and a 15-year-old girl, whose name was withheld at the time of her arrest due to her age.

Each defendant is charged with first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.

Taylor, McDonald and the juvenile are additionally charged with breaking into Jones’ apartment while he was in the hospital on the morning of Jan. 12, 2017.