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Charges Filed Against 2 Men In Murder Of Pregnant Hawthorne Woman

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MONTEREY PARK (CBS) — Authorities have filed charges against two suspects in the murder of a pregnant woman that occurred more than a decade ago in Hawthorne.

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced the new developments in a news conference Wednesday morning.

derek smyer Charges Filed Against 2 Men In Murder Of Pregnant Hawthorne Woman

(credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

Derek Smyer, 31, is accused of soliciting Skyler Moore, 30, to kill his pregnant girlfriend, Crystal Taylor, in order to free him of his financial responsibility to the child, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Taylor, 30, was five months pregnant when she was shot to death on the morning of Sept. 25, 2001 in an apartment complex parking lot.

She left behind a 10-year-old son.

“She more than just my mother, she was my best friend. I also had a little brother who was also coming. I wonder everyday if I was taking her for granted. Did I tell her that I loved her that day?” Javonte Woods, Taylor’s son, said at the news conference.

“During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Derek Smyer . . . was involved in the murders,” a press release stated.

Smyer was arrested on Nov. 3 and charged with murder, murder of a human fetus, conspiracy to commit a crime and solicitation, officials said.

Moore is currently in prison, serving a life sentence for a gang-related homicide that was committed in August 2001.

He has been charged with two counts of murder and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The charges against both men could carry the death penalty.

Detectives fear Smyer may have additional victims.

Many people have told us that there are other female victims out there that Mr. Smyer has abused over the years, all emotionally, financially and physically and we’d like those women to come forward and we’d like their voices to be heard at this time,” Det. Elizabeth Smith said.

Smyer and Moore are scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on Nov. 18.

Smyer is being held without bail.

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