Jury seated in Dunbar rape case's second trial

By Chuck Weber - bioemail

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A jury was seated and lawyers made their opening statements Tuesday afternoon in the second Dunbar Village rape trial.

Seventeen-year-old Jakaris Taylor is accused of taking part in the gang rape and beating of a mother and her 12-year-old son in their apartment at the Dunbar Village public housing complex in West Palm Beach.

Police say Taylor was among a group of teens, many masked and armed, who broke in and took turns raping the mother, eventually forcing her into a sex act with her son. The victims were doused with chemicals to try and destroy evidence according to detectives.

At one point, Taylor had a plea deal with prosecutors. It gave him 25 years in prison in exchange for testifying. But, prosecutors say, Taylor failed to cooperate and yanked the deal. Now, if convicted, he faces a potential life sentence.

Last month, two juries convicted 18-year-old Nathan Walker and 20-year-old Tommy Lee Poindexter in the first Dunbar trial. Just a week before that trial, 16-year-old Avion Lawson pleaded guilty, saying he would testify against the other defendants, hoping to get a break at his sentencing.

Lawson took the witness stand at the first trial and is expected to do so again this week. It's anticipated the mother, who was raped, will testify a second time, as well. The trial could last a week.