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Charges against accused killer in Sarah Goode's death increased to 1st-degree murder

Dante Taylor, 19, of Mastic, is led out

Dante Taylor, 19, of Mastic, is led out of the Sixth Precinct in Selden for arraignment in Central Islip on Saturday, July 12, 2014. Credit: James Carbone

Charges against the man accused of stabbing a single mother to death and leaving her body in the woods near her Medford home have been increased to first-degree murder, according to court records.

The indictment against Dante Taylor, 19, of Mastic, who had a brief stint in the Marine Corps after high school, will be unsealed when he is arraigned Thursday in state Supreme Court. When he was returned from Florida July 11 after being arrested there, he had been charged with second-degree murder.

If convicted of the new top charge, Taylor faces life in prison without parole. He's accused of stabbing Sarah Goode, 21, numerous times and sexually assaulting her in an attack in her car June 7. Her body was found five days later.

Suffolk prosecutors refused to comment on the new charges before the arraignment. If a person intentionally kills another while also committing certain other felonies, including attempted forcible rape, that constitutes first-degree murder.

Court records show Taylor remains charged with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in prison, and first-degree attempted rape.

Taylor's attorney, Patrick O'Connell, did not respond to requests for comment.

Prosecutors have said Goode was found naked from the waist down, except for her shoes.

An autopsy found a piece of metal lodged in her skull and stab wounds to her head and torso. Prosecutors said semen was found at the crime scene, and some of Goode's hair was found hanging from a window of her car.

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