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Ex-college football star, son of Texas A&M associate head coach, arrested in poisoning deaths of girlfriend and unborn baby

By Jamiel Lynch, CNN

(CNN) — Blaise Taylor, an analyst at Texas A&M and son of the school’s associate head coach, was arrested in Utah on Thursday after being indicted in the 2023 deaths of his girlfriend and her unborn child, according to Nashville police.

Taylor, a former college football star at Arkansas State, was indicted Wednesday by a Nashville grand jury and charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the poisoning deaths of his girlfriend and her five-month-old fetus, “which Taylor is alleged to have fathered,” a release from the Nashville Police Department said.

He was held without bail Friday night at the Cache County Jail in Logan, Utah, jail records show. An attorney for Taylor was not listed in the jail records.

Taylor “is alleged to have poisoned Benning without her knowledge while visiting her Lebanon Pike apartment on the night of February 25,” police said.

She was rushed to a hospital that night, after Taylor called 911 and told them “Benning appeared to be having an allergic reaction,” according to police.

Her unborn baby died two days later, and Benning died on March 6, 2023, police said. Authorities said they were not able to interview her before her death.

Police did not release any details on the alleged poisoning.

“Months of investigation, led by Homicide Unit Detective Adam Reese and involving scientists from crime laboratories and doctors from the Medical Examiner’s Office, led to Wednesday’s return of the murder indictment against Taylor,” the release said.

Shortly after the deaths, Taylor moved to Utah, according to police. Nashville police say they are working with Utah authorities to arrange his return.

Taylor was recently named an analyst at Texas A&M, but the school announced Friday night that he was “placed on suspension pending an investigation.” He was a defensive back at Arkansas State from 2014 to 2017, starting all four years, while his father Trooper Taylor was a defensive backs coach at the school.

Trooper Taylor is now an associate head coach on offense and running backs coach at Texas A&M. He has been a coach for over 30 years, with stints at Baylor, New Mexico, Tulane, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Auburn during its 2010 BCS National Championship run.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by this heartbreaking situation, including the family and friends of the victim. It’s essential to allow the courts to handle this situation with the diligence and fairness it demands,” Texas A&M head football coach Mike Elko said in a statement released by the university. “We also would like to extend our prayers and support to Coach Trooper Taylor, Dr. Evelyn Taylor and their family as they navigate this extremely difficult time.”

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CNN’s Homero De La Fuente contributed to this report.

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