Family, friends of slain SIUE student get 'bittersweet' justice -

Family, friends of slain SIUE student get 'bittersweet' justice

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Credit: Andrew Parker Credit: Andrew Parker

CLAYTON, Mo. ( -- Friends and family of the SIUE college student murdered during a Craigslist exchange have bittersweet justice Monday night.

A St. Louis County jury found Michael Gordon, accused of killing 19-year-old Taylor Clark, guilty of first-degree murder. He will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole.

Clark was murdered in May 2015.

“It feels more like 10 years,” said Clark’s childhood friend Andrew Parker. “It feels like I was waiting for a really long time for something that should have been taken care of right after.”

Parker, who now lives in Columbia, talked about sitting in on the trial and how Monday’s guilty verdict is the start of justice.

“At the end of the day it’s not going to bring Taylor back and it’s bittersweet,” he said.

Witness: Suspect drove SIUE student's car back to work after murder

Prosecutors said Gordon plotted to kill Clark because of his car, a red Nissan 350 Z.  

“The defendant had an identical car that had been repossessed a short time earlier so he answered the ad,” said St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch. “ And when Mr. Clark showed up with his car, took him down a narrow driveway to the back of the property and killed him and took the car as his own.”

Prosecutors said Gordon bought the gun, bleach and a shovel used in the murder days before he met Clark through a Craigslist ad.

“I would have liked the death penalty,” said Parker. “I’ve heard his parents saying their son doesn't get to breathe anymore, they don't want him (Gordon) to.”

McCulloch said this case didn’t have all the criteria to warrant a death sentence.

Parker said he has only one thing to say to the person who killed his friend.

“Taylor didn’t deserve anything that happened to him and he took away one of the best guys in my life,” he said.

This case sparked a major change in how people viewed Craigslist. Most police departments in our area now offer a safe space to do sales, and many of them made that change because of what happened to Taylor Clark.

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