Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Mount Laurel Police Chief Judy Lynn Schiavone announced that a 29-year-old Riverton resident has been charged with fatally stabbing a man yesterday morning at the Rodeway Inn on Route 73 in Mount Laurel.
Taylor Perkins, of the 600 block of Linden Avenue, was charged with Murder (First Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Third Degree) and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Third Degree.) Perkins was taken into custody yesterday in Camden and transported to the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.
The investigation began yesterday after officers from the Mount Laurel Police Department were called to the hotel just before 10 a.m. for a report of two men fighting. They found the body of Michael Jefferies, 36, on the ground outside of a second-floor room near a stairwell.
The investigation determined that after stabbing Jefferies, Perkins fled on foot to a nearby BMW dealership and drove off in a sport utility vehicle. He abandoned the SUV in Evesham and stole a truck belonging to an Xfinity worker who was up on a ladder. He was eventually apprehended at a residence on Decatur Street in Camden.
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood concluded that Jefferies, of Mount Laurel, died from multiple stab wounds. The motive remains under investigation.
The investigation was conducted by the Mount Laurel Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Camden County Police Department, the Cherry Hill Police Department and the Evesham Township Police Department.
The lead investigators are BCPO Detectives Shawn McDonough and Melyssa Alonso, and MLPD Detective Matthew Jankaitis. Perkins will be prosecuted by BCPO Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the Major Crimes Unit.
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.