BRIDGEPORT MAN WHO PARTICIPATED
IN MURDER OF THREE INDIVIDUALS IS SENTENCED
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JOHN TAYLOR, 35, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 108 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in the murder of three Bridgeport residents in August 2005.
According to court documents, statements made in court and evidence introduced during the trial, Azibo Aquart was the founder and leader of a drug trafficking group that primarily sold crack cocaine out of an apartment building located at 215 Charles Street in Bridgeport. Aquart and his associates participated in acts of violence, such as threats and assaults, to maintain their control over the group’s drug distribution activities at the Charles Street Apartments. In the summer of 2005, Aquart and his associates became involved in a drug trafficking dispute with Tina Johnson, a resident of 215 Charles Street who sometimes sold smaller quantities of crack cocaine without Aquart’s approval. On the morning of August 24, 2005, Azibo Aquart, his brother Azikiwe Aquart, Efrain Johnson and TAYLOR entered Apartment 101 at 215 Charles Street and murdered Tina Johnson, 43, her boyfriend James Reid, Jr., 40, and friend Basil Williams, 54. The three victims were bound with duct tape and brutally beaten to death with baseball bats.
On October 18, 2010, TAYLOR pleaded guilty to three counts of murder in aid of racketeering.
In sentencing TAYLOR below the maximum sentence permissible of life imprisonment, Judge Arterton noted the importance of TAYLOR’s assistance to the prosecution of his three co-defendants, the extensive testimony he provided during two trials, and his sincere remorse.
On May 23, 2011, a jury found Azibo Aquart guilty of the racketeering murders and drug-related murders of Johnson, Reid and Williams, as well as one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). On June 15, 2011, the jury unanimously determined that Azibo Aquart should be sentenced to death for committing the murders of Johnson and Williams.
On August 26, 2011, Azikiwe Aquart pleaded guilty to three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, admitting that he agreed to participate in what he believed would be a robbery with his brother and others and, after entering the apartment, he committed the murder of James Reid, while other participants in the crime murdered Tina Johnson and Basil Williams. On December 12, 2011, he was sentenced by Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to a life term of imprisonment on each of the three counts.
On February 27, 2012, a jury found Efrain Johnson guilty of three counts of murder in aid of racketeering. He awaits sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction’s Intelligence Unit, ICE Homeland Security Investigations, United States Marshals Service, Bridgeport States Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter D. Markle, Alina P. Reynolds and Tracy L. Dayton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, and Trial Attorney Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Capital Case Unit.
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