HIV-positive teacher, 36, accused of molesting his seven-year-old student pleads not guilty to hiring a hitman from behind bars to silence the boy and his mother before his trial
- Deonte Taylor, 36, was charged on Wednesday in St. Louis with conspiring to commit murder and tampering with a witness
- His 66-year-old boyfriend, Michael Johnson, faces the same charges after allegedly agreeing to pay for the hit
- Taylor, who has HIV, was arrested in November for allegedly putting his penis inside the mouth of his then-seven-year-old student in 2015
- He is now accused of conspiring with Johnson to murder the boy and his mother so they couldn't testify against him at trial
- Inmate Taylor allegedly hired as a hitman became a confidential informant
An HIV-positive teacher from St Louis accused of having a seven-year-old student perform oral sex on him has denied plotting with his boyfriend to have the child and his mother killed ahead of his trial.
Deonte Taylor, 36, and his 66-year-old lover, Michael Johnson, both appeared in court on Wednesday and entered not guilty pleas to multiple charges of conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with a witness.
Authorities say the sex crime involving the boy, now aged 10, happened three years ago, but Taylor was not charged until November 2018 with three counts of sodomy.
The new felony counts against Taylor and Johnson allege that they agreed to hire a hitman to kill the accuser and his mother to prevent them from testifying against the disgraced teacher at trial.
Prosecutors said in February, Taylor approached another inmate in jail asking him to carry out the murder-for-hire plot upon his release.
According to court documents cited by KSDK, Taylor convinced his boyfriend, Johnson, to pay for the hit.
But instead of going along with the plan, the inmate chosen for the violent task became a confidential informant for the police.
Authorities said the alleged abuse occurred in November 2015, while Taylor was employed as a teacher's aide at Lusher Elementary School.
The 36-year-old educator, who has HIV, is accused of taking the then-seven-year-old boy out of the classroom, escorting him to another room and there putting his penis inside the child's mouth.
Taylor's DNA was found on the boy's body and clothing, but charges were not immediately filed and Taylor went on to
his teaching certificate.
Taylor passed multiple background checks and was hired to teach fifth grade at Walnut Grove Elementary School, which is part of the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
District officials said they were not aware he was under investigation when they hired him.
Taylor's arrest in November came after new, undisclosed information, came to light.
According to his Facebook page, Taylor's boyfriend serves as minister of music at Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church of Jennings.