Dante Taylor pleads not guilty to first-degree murder in Sarah Goode's death

The Mastic man charged with raping and stabbing to death Sarah Goode in Medford pleaded not guilty Thursday, July 24, 2014, to an indictment charging him with first-degree murder. The judge ordered Taylor held without bail and told the defendant that if the charges are true, it "calls for the strongest justice and no mercy." Newsday / Jessica Rotkiewicz

The Mastic man accused of raping and stabbing to death a young mother pleaded not guilty Thursday to an indictment charging him with first-degree murder, an attack the prosecutor described as "particularly brutal."

Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson ordered Dante Taylor, 19, held without bail. Hudson told the defendant that if the charges are true, it "calls for the strongest justice and no mercy."

Taylor faces life in prison without parole if convicted of killing Sarah Goode, 21.

Assistant District Attorney Janet Albertson said the indictment's increased charges, which include a count of attempted rape of a different woman, rely on evidence of forcible rape and sexual abuse in the June 7 attack in Goode's car in Medford.

Albertson said Goode was stabbed in her head, torso and legs with such force that a piece of metal was embedded in her skull. An autopsy and DNA testing show that semen recovered from her body belonged to Taylor, she said.

Taylor left his palm print in Goode's blood on the hood of her car, Albertson said. "This crime was particularly brutal," she said.

More than three dozen of Goode's family and friends -- many of them in tears -- watched Taylor's arraignment.

Despite the increased charges against Taylor and the revelation of further disturbing details, his appearance was somewhat more subdued than his previous court appearance, which was punctuated by angry shouting from the victim's family. Hudson warned those in the courtroom he would not tolerate that.

Taylor's family left court without commenting, but defense attorney William Petrillo said they are "extremely supportive."

"He is entitled to the same strong defense as anyone else, and that's what he'll receive," Petrillo said afterward.

Goode's family said it continues to be difficult to look at Taylor and contemplate what he's accused of doing.

"Even though I heard it already, it's still -- it's too much," said her brother, Adam Demuria.

"We hope that he never lives outside of prison walls," said Florencia Demuria, Adam's wife. "He destroyed our family and we want him to not do this to anyone else."

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