LOCKPORT - The murder of a Niagara Falls man has apparently been solved, with the arraignment of the victim’s housemate Tuesday morning in State Supreme Court.
Ryan C. Taylor, 33, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Duane Price, 41, who was found dead in a bathtub full of water in his home Jan. 28.
An autopsy showed Price was killed by several stab wounds to the base of the neck and skull. The indictment says Price was killed between Jan. 25 and 28.
Niagara County Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Price and Taylor were sharing the two-story home at 1011 Michigan Ave. in the Falls.
Taylor had been behind bars on other charges ever since the body was found. Hoffmann said that by coincidence, Taylor was arrested by a parole officer the same day and held on a parole violation. He was accused of violating the terms of an order of protection his estranged wife, who lives on Grand Island, had obtained against him.
Taylor was held in the Niagara County Jail until he was shipped to Livingston Correctional Facility June 23. He was on parole for an Erie County conviction for attempted third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. His sentence expired Friday, and Assistant District Attorney Ryan K. Parisi said Taylor was arrested on the murder charge right after his release from state prison.
Taylor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and two counts of tampering with physical evidence. Hoffmann said the latter counts accused Taylor of trying to clean up the murder scene and moving the body to the bathtub in the first-floor bathroom. Hoffmann said Price was killed elsewhere in the house, but she wouldn’t say where. Hoffmann also declined to speculate on the motive for the killing.
Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. ordered Price held without bail. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Alfonso M. Bax, but Parisi said it appeared the Public Defender’s Office will have to withdraw because of a conflict of interest, which was not explained. Kloch scheduled an appearance Oct. 14 for a new attorney for Taylor.