MONTGOMERY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Amanda Taylor's trial began Thursday in Montgomery County where she pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Taylor is charged in the April 2015 death of her father-in-law Charles Taylor.
The "Crime Scene Selfie"
During court, attorneys debated a photo taken at the crime scene. The photo shows Taylor posing in front of the victim. It was unclear if the photo was a selfie or if Sean Ball took the photo.
Testimony revealed Charles Taylor's father, who is bedridden, was in the home at the time of the murder.
Also revealed, Amanda Taylor told police,"it just needed to be done," in regards to the killing of Charles Taylor.
Amanda Taylor was said to have smiled multiple times while pictures and descriptions of violence were displayed during court. She also yelled out while the jury was not in the room.
The Death of Charles Taylor
According to the Commonwealth, Amanda Taylor went to Charles' house the morning of April 4 hours before she came back to kill him, to get money for her kids' Easter presents.
That evening when she returned, she stabbed him 31 times, some with such force that the stabs went all the way through his body and out the other side. She then posted a selfie at the crime scene holding the bloody knife and smiling.
She also sent it to a friend who posted it to a "serial killer" website.
Taylor's defense opened on Thursday by saying "Amanda Taylor killed Charles Taylor." They stated she felt she had strong justification and that "love is a very strong motivator."
Taylor held Charles responsible for her late husband Rex's drug addiction and ultimate suicide.
Taylor received mental health treatment in high school, and was again taken to St. Albans for attempted suicide one week before the murder.
According to police testimony, Taylor admitted to killing her father-in-law with the help of her friend, Sean Ball, who is also charged with murder.
Police say they think the duo took money from Charles' wallet and began traveling to North Carolina. Ball was later found injured on the side of the road.