Update: Taylor gets 25 to life for ’96 Morning killing

08/23/2012 4:00 PM |

NEWS-REVIEW ARCHIVES | The cover of the June 12, 1997 issue featuring Kalila Taylor’s arrest.

A former Riverhead High School student found guilty of stabbing another student to death more than a decade ago was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Thursday, officials said.

Kalila Taylor, 35, of Riverhead stabbed fellow student Curtisha Morning — the school’s homecoming queen  — more than 90 times in a jealous rage over the attention of Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend in February 1996.

Ms. Morning’s body was found a month later in woods near the school.

Ms. Taylor was convicted in July in a retrial of the murder case. She had been convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, but the case was thrown out due to incorrect instructions given to the jury by the presiding judge.

She was sentenced before Judge William Condon in Suffolk County Criminal Court Thursday.

Ms. Taylor spent 12 years in prison before her retrial, said District Attorney spokesman Robert Clifford, adding that her time served will count towards the latest sentence. Ms. Taylor may be eligible for parole, he added.

In her retrial, the jury took just over three hours to unanimously find Ms. Taylor guilty of second-degree murder.

At the trial, Ms. Morning’s friends and family members, who sat silently as the verdict was read, said the verdict allowed the family to begin to heal.

“It’s over,” said Wendy Alexander, a family friend, “Now the family can move on.”

psquire@timesreview.com