When 27-year-old Crystal Dejuanna Taylor died in one of the worst ways possible, no one thought her ex-boyfriend or a hitman would have anything to do with it. But they did. As NBC’s “Dateline: One Moment” reported, it was Derek Paul Smyer who came up with a plan to get rid of her so he wouldn’t have to pay for their unborn child. But for now, if you just want to know more about Michelle and Monica, her loving sisters who spoke out the most for her much-needed justice, we’ve got you covered.
Who Are Michelle and Monica Taylor?
Even though the Taylor family has always been a close-knit group, Crystal, her sisters, and their mother had a bond that went way beyond what the rest of the family had. In fact, the four of them said in the episode that they were best friends in every way, with the only difference being that the youngest one got a little more love than the other three. At one point, Monica said, “I’m the oldest,” without a hint of jealousy in her voice. “Michelle is in the middle, and Crystie was the youngest. And she looked just like a baby. She was born to my mother.”
So, when Crystal got pregnant at 16 and then again at 27 as a single mother, she didn’t feel too scared because she had a strong support system by her side. So, she was happy to give birth to her son Javonte Taylor on the day she turned 17. She graduated from high school a short time later, but things didn’t go as well in 2001. That’s because the mother, who was 22 weeks pregnant, was shot to death in her own apartment complex on September 25. This broke the hearts of everyone who loved her.
In the NBC version, Crystal’s niece said, “She wasn’t flashy.” “She wasn’t, like, a person who went shopping a lot. She was just a simple person who was happy to stay at home and watch movies. She wanted love, I know. I know that she wanted a life like a fairy tale. I know she talked about it all the time, but she was happy with the life she had.” She said that her dream life was to work hard, spend time with her loving family, raise her young son, and get ready to have another child, Jeremiah Johnson Taylor, but that life was violently taken away from her.
So, Michelle and Monica soon made it their life’s work to find her killer if the police couldn’t. They did this by looking into both her personal and professional life. Also, the first woman remembered seeing a strange Black man hanging out near her sister’s house the day before, so she told the detectives about it before they started looking into it. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t until the late fall of 2011 that convicted criminal Skyler Jefferson Moore admitted to being the shooter, which led to his and Derek’s arrest.
Where Are Michelle and Monica Taylor Now?
When Derek finally went to court in 2017, Michelle said it gave her “great pride” to see him in orange jail clothes because he basically destroyed her family without thinking twice. Monica spoke to him directly in court, telling him, “You killed my sister for nothing… Even when it came to your child, she didn’t want anything from you… What sort of beast are you?” So, they were glad when he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. This gave them the closure they needed to move on with their lives, but they will always remember Crystal.
As for where they are now, it looks like Monica and Michelle are still living in Los Angeles, California, where they are surrounded by their own small, happy families. Their work history isn’t clear right now, which is unfortunate, but it looks like they’re living a good, stable life thanks to their own hard work.
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