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Two men found guilty in 2001 murder-for-hire of pregnant woman

A man who arranged the murder of his pregnant girlfriend more than a decade ago and the hitman he hired were both convicted May 8, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. 

Derek Paul Smyer, 36, was found guilty of one count each of first-degree murder and second-degree murder in the 2001 deaths of his girlfriend, Crystal Dejuana Taylor, 27, and her unborn child. Smyer was also convicted of conspiracy, two count of solicitation of murder, and the special allegation of murder for financial gain and multiple murders.

On the same day, a separate jury found Skyler Jefferson Moore, 35, guilty of two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple murders as well as one count of conspiracy. 

In August 2001, Smyer became upset when he learned Taylor was pregnant and refused to have an abortion, according to testimony in court. Smyer hired Moore to kill her, prosecutors said. 

Taylor, who was 21 to 22 weeks pregnant, was fatally shot Sept. 25, 2001, in her Hawthorne apartment, prosecutors said. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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