Man Pleads Guilty to Poughkeepsie Murder, Gun Charge in Marriott Death

Devin Taylor pleaded guilty to an August murder and to a weapons charge in the Courtyard Marriott case on Wednesday, according to prosecutors in Dutchess County

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One of the suspects charged in the deadly Marriott hotel shooting of a Long Island father visiting Poughkeepsie for a college family weekend last fall has pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in that case -- and to murdering another man in a separate investigation in the same city this past summer, Dutchess County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Devin Taylor pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Aug. 9 death of Darren Villani in Poughkeepsie and to a single count of second-degree criminal weapons possession for having the handgun that was thrown and recovered at the Courtyard Marriott on Oct. 2, the day 53-year-old Paul Kutz, of East Northport, was killed in the hotel lobby.

He had been at the Marriott for a family weekend at Marist College when he was killed.

Taylor and another man — Roy Johnson Jr. — were both charged in that incident. Johnson Jr., the alleged gunman and a known fugitive at the time, pleaded not guilty to firing 30 shots in and around the Courtyard by Marriott.

Taylor faces 22 years to life in prison on the murder charge and another seven years for the weapons possession charges. Those sentences are expected to be served concurrently. A hearing is set for mid-April on that.

A judge continued the no-bail remand for Taylor after Wednesday's plea.

Johnson Jr. was not charged in Villani's slaying. A convicted felon, he has pleaded not guilty to the charges in the Courtyard Marriott case. His court case is ongoing.

Police for the city of Poughkeepsie said Wednesday that while they were aware the alleged gunman who killed a father in a seemingly random hotel lobby shooting had been a fugitive of the law, they couldn’t arrest him for one simple reason: They couldn’t find him.
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